Developing your thoughts: Talking out loud

Now that I’ve started actively preparing for my “Testing so you can move on” talk at Testbash Belfast and Romanian Testing Conference, I’ve started to notice how my thought process is developing as a result of talking out loud.

Bit of background first so you have an idea how I’m preparing:

  • I’m focussing on getting my first draft done (almost there, just need to expand a bit more on one of my key points first)
  • Then I’ll start on the slides
  • I’ll look into how the slides and talk “fit” each other
  • Then I’ll go back and forth between slides and talk aiming to reach a deliverable presentation ASAP
  • After that, just refine until I deliver the presentation

Continue reading “Developing your thoughts: Talking out loud”

How to incorporate humour into speeches

About 6 months ago, I completed my last project in the Humorously Speaking Manual. To be honest, I was really happy to get it out of the way. One of the objectives for each speech in this manual is “make people laugh”. And I found that stressful. I mean, I sometimes make people laugh spontaneously when I talk to them but having to make people laugh in purpose? Well, that’s another story.

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Handling nerves when public speaking

Yesterday I competed at my Toastmasters club’s annual Evaluation Contest. During this contest, you have a test speaker give a 5-7min speech and then we compete to give the best Evaluation to the Test Speaker.

While the judges votes were being counted, us 5 contestants were asked to come up to the stage and be interviewed. The question I was asked, was something along the lines of “How did you find the Evaluation Contest?” or “What was your experience in participating in the Evaluation Contest?”

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What I learned from giving my first ever workshop

Earlier this week I was a co-presenter for a 2 day workshop on SBTM (Session Based Test Management) at Unity. 

While I have a solid amount of relevant experience (speaking at conferences, organising and speaking at meet-ups, being a co-instructor for BBST Foundations course multiple times, mentoring and coaching testers in previous projects and mentoring and coaching speakers at Toastmasters), actually facilitating a 2 day workshop for over 40 attendees is another kettle of fish! All of the experience I mentioned helped me prepare for this workshop but it was almost definitely the hardest thing I’ve done in my career so far.

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Talking to Students about Testing at a Job Mentoring Programme: Mentor Sverige

Yesterday morning I took part in Mentor Sverige’s Job Mentoring Programme at Ribbyskolan.

First off, it was a lot scarier than I was anticipating. I initially thought we would stay together as a group and then go around together in each classroom telling the students about what we do (looking back, I don’t know why I thought this as there definitely wouldn’t have been enough time for that). But we were all split up to go into different classrooms for 20min at a time to give our presentations. I gave four 10-12min presentations to students in Grade 9, with about 5min of Q&A and then a few min to get between classrooms.

The Cultural Aspect
Up until yesterday, I had never spoken to anyone in Sweden under 25 (aside from my colleague’s daughter). I also really enjoyed going to a Swedish Grundskola (like a junior high school for 12-15 year olds) as I wouldn’t have been able to get that experience otherwise. Continue reading “Talking to Students about Testing at a Job Mentoring Programme: Mentor Sverige”

Getting back into Toastmasters

Lately, I’ve been getting back into Toastmasters. I recently joined a club in Stockholm and am really enjoying it so far. It’s largely an expat club with over 10 nationalities (I can think of from the top of my head, there are surely more). It’s also a very popular club – it seems to me that speaking slots are highly in demand and you need to be pretty fast to sign up so you can give a speech.

Continue reading “Getting back into Toastmasters”