So this weekend I had the chance to give a presentation at the Edmonton Code Camp. I’ve done this every year for the last few years now (and I’ve done a few presentations elsewhere) and I have to say that this by far was my…. worst presentation ever.
So what went wrong? Well the primary problem I think was based on the fact that my original presentation idea was going to be a fair bit more advanced then the talk I ended up giving. Originally my idea was to talk mainly about the differences between Unit and Integration tests. While there are some fundamental differences between the two I honestly don’t know that I could spend over an hour talking about them. As I worked on my presentation though I realized that there was probably a lot of value in talking about some more basic testing stuff first.
So this is where my mistake happened. At this point I should have probably thrown out all of the advanced stuff I wanted to talk about and started fresh. Instead I tried to walk this line of keeping in line with my original idea while trying to talk about the basics of testing first.
I found the talk quite dysfunctional because it tried to bounce between intro level and advanced level which never works well. So with that said here are a few things I take away from this..
1. Intro and Advanced level talks have totally different audiences. Pick one.
2. If your original idea is wrong.. that’s fine but throw it out and start fresh. You may bring some stuff forwards but it’s good to start with a fresh mind.
3. Semi unrelated but I really need to get started on my blog series on testing I wanted to write. Good news is I mentioned it while talking to a few people after my talk so now I have no choice.
Living and Learning…