Lightning Talk at FOSDEM 2013

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FOSDEM is Europe's biggest open source conference. It's organised entirely by the community and in addition to being about all things being free as in freedom, it's also free as in beer, i.e. there are no entrance fees (although donations are welcome). For over 10 years now, literally thousands of geeks from all over Europe assemble in Brussels on the first weekend in February every year

I'll be attending FOSDEM again this year (Feb 2+3). I will also be giving a short presentation: a 15 minute lightning talk in the Testing and Automation devroom. The title is "What's our Status?" and this is what I submitted as the talk's summary:

Presentation Zen European Seminars 2012 in London

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It's almost a tradition by now: For the third year in a row, Phil and Pierre of Ideas on Stage have lured presentation expert Garr Reynolds to come to Europe to hold a seminar. A few things were different this year, though.

First of all, the location: The seminars took place in London instead of Paris. And, yes, seminars - there were two this year. In addition to his standard seminar, we were also treated to the world premiere of the Presentation Zen Story Telling Masterclass, an all-new seminar focusing on the art of storytelling in presentations.

Announcing TEDxStuttgart

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I guess everybody who is interested in good presentations (whether seeing them or improving their own presentations) will sooner or later come across TED and their wonderful collection of great and engaging presentations. Once you've become addicted to TED (and believe me - you will), you will want to attend a TED conference. Alas, for mere mortals that's not so easy.

Fortunately, TED invented the TEDx event: Smaller, local, and independently (but under a license from TED) organized events that are much more accessible for the rest of us.

TEDx events can be found all over the world and, of course, also in Germany where I live. Missing, so far, was a TEDx event in my current place of residence, i.e. Stuttgart. But this is about to change, since for a couple of weeks now, I've been a member of the team that is in the process of organizing the first TEDx in Stuttgart.

And even better: Ticket sales are now open! If you're living in the Stuttgart area, here's your chance to attend the first TEDxStuttgart. See you there!

Presentation Zen Seminar in Paris

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I don't remember how or when I first came across Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen method of doing presentations. I do know, however, that I was reading the Presentation Zen blog even before the first book came out, since I remember pre-ordering it. So it's been a while and I do hope that if you ever saw one of my own presentations, that the influence is apparent.

Since Garr is living in Japan, chances of getting to see him live over here in Europe are rare. So when the Presentation Zen Seminar in Paris was announced, I only hesitated briefly to consider the technicalities (of getting some days off from work, and of getting to Paris) before I booked it.

I apologize in advance if this post is getting a bit fanboy-ish ;-) but to summarize, I had a great time in and around this seminar.

Day Camp for Developers

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Yesterday, I attended Day Camp for Developers: Soft Skills. Wait. Hmm. Do you say "attend" when the thing is not a "real" conference but happens online? Shouldn't that be "watched"?

So what was it, really? The idea was to do an online conference on the topic of "soft skills", aimed at developers. Five presenters each talked about one topic. The presentations were streamed live via GoToWebinar. As a participant / viewer, you got to see their slides (and, sometimes, their computer's desktop) and hear their voice. You did not see the presenters. Since the presenters couldn't see their audience either, this had the potential to become a series of five 1-hour monologues. Fortunately, this isn't what happened.