Skip to content

Public speaking retrospective, 2016 edition

With 2016 drawing to a close, as well as my Remote Year adventure ending at the end of this month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my 2017 public speaking goals are, as well as what travel in 2017 may bring me. Inspired by Cate’s blog post on 2016 speaking and 2017 goals, I took the time to go through the same exercise myself.

I didn’t set any public speaking goals for 2016.

I was already anticipating that 2016 would be crazy. Before it even started, I was getting Bolivian visas, trying desperately to learn some Spanish, and shopping for a one-way plane ticket to Uruguay. I couldn’t image what public speaking and travel I might do in 2016, given that I would be abroad for most of 2016 traveling with Remote Year, and I had already been invited to speak & accepted for ElasticON 2016 in February.

In order to figure out what my 2017 goals should be, I summed up what I’d done in 2016:

– 2 conference presentations (one technical, one not)
– 1 user group presentation
– 5 guest appearances on podcasts / blogs
– 2 mentions in major magazine/newspaper publications
– 1 “pitch night” talk in Uruguay for a chatbot idea

When thinking about these activities as a group, and feeling like maybe there wasn’t a coherent “big picture” to what I’d done this year, I am reminded of something I’d read in a recent Technically Speaking email in December:

Talk about something that interests you, also don’t make your talk too generic, and be unique in a way that makes this talk fit you. – @flowerycoder

With that as a mantra, I’ve set the following goals for my 2017:

– Give 2 technical talks
– Give 2 non-technical talks
– Attend, but not speak, at 2 conferences

Additionally, I’ve set the following constraints:
– speak on 2 continents (for now, North America counts)
– contribute something to the local communities in which I live and/or work
– For the attend-only conferences, I would like to make an effort to be truly present (attend sessions, meet more attendees, go to the optional social events)

What are your public speaking goals for 2017?

My non-technical talk in Oslo that I was really proud of this year:

Meeting old friends and making new ones in SFO this year:

First time giving a “pitch” style talk in Montevideo:

Pitch night with #sinergiatech and #remoteyear 👁‍🗨📈

A photo posted by Martin B. Smith (@martinbs3) on

Published inTechnology