Speaking & Events

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love SXSW

I've been coming to SXSW for 7 years and I've seen it change from a small and intimate event to the tech sector's equivalent of Glastonbury. Back then bloggers were king and CSS2.1 was the hot technology of the day. Today the conference has gone from 2,500 people to an astonishing 25,000. Blogging is considered old hat, and the new tech superstars are the start-up founders, the professional publishers and the best selling authors. Think Gowalla, Mashable and Shirky rather than Zeldman, Bowman and Veen.

7 Ways to Improve your Public Speaking

As a self confirmed conference junkie I speak at a dozen events each year, and attend many more. As such I've probably seen close to a thousand talks over the last five years. Because of this I've got a pretty good idea what makes for an exciting talk and how you can guarantee your session will suck. As somebody who also organises two conferences, "UX London":http://uxlondon.com and "dConstruct":http://dconstruct.org I'm really keen on getting new talent into the speaking circuit while still maintaining quality. As such I've put together a quick guide to help both new and experienced speakers kick arse/ass. Most of these tips aren't new, but you'll be surprised how few people actually follow them. However if you do, you'll be well on your way to being the next Jeff Veen, Jared Spool or Jason Santa Maria.

Conferencing part 2 - SXSW

Every year SXSW takes on a slightly new dimension so it's never the same experience twice. Change is inevitable and I always have a good time at the event. However I always find myself harking back to years gone by. I guess that's age for you.

Conferencing part 1 - ETech

As you're no doubts aware I'm an unabashed conference junky, so it will come as no surprise to you that I've spent the last couple of weeks in the States attending three such events. First up was "ETech":http://en.oreilly.com/et2009/, the emerging technology conference from O'Reily. Moved from it's spiritual home in San Diego, this year it was help in the Chino wearing capitol of Silicon Valley, San Jose. The event was much smaller than last year and the tone was somewhat downbeat. However I don't think this was necessarily down to the economy as a lot of people were speculating. ETech is an amazing place to showcase new technologies and is where start-ups like Flickr made their debut. However if there are no new breakthroughs on the horizon, the events obviously lacks its reason d'etra. I think that was the case this year.