⚠️ I wrote this in the middle of a particularly shithouse talk at an FP-Syd meetup. It's a bit underbaked but I hope it might be useful.
Building the talk
Compilation for good tech talks (quantum computing)
Patterns in confusing explanations
Setting up the talk
- Be accessible. Ensure that everyone can hear you and read your slides before you continue. Use a big font everywhere.
- Open with a talk abstract
- Follow up with an objective: what do you want people to know and/or do by the end of the talk
- Then give a rough overview of the structure of the talk. Estimate how long you'll spend talking about each section, and how long you'll have for questions at the end. Talks should not be longer than 40 minutes without a break in the middle.
- Finally, refer to prior art before getting into the meat of things. If you're rehashing/adapting a prior talk, reference it. If it's meaningfully different, explaining what you're going to be introducing. Explain when you start discussing novel work or concepts: eg. code you've personally written or things you've personally discovered.
Structuring the talk
- Your talk needs sections. Make these obvious with headers, pauses for questions, drinking water etc.
- Build slide decks such that when all the code is extracted and put in a single file, it compiles, literate programming style. This probably means that you'll see a slide of imports before you show anyone any real code. This is good thing™️.
- People can't follow huge blocks of code while you speak. Use short blocks of code per slide to focus the listener onto what you're talking about
While writing the talk