Talking it Out

One of my current assignments of apprenticeship is to do a 10 minute talk each week on the SOLID principles of software development. Talking has never been an issue for me, but doing a talk on a more technical subject has its challenges. Here are some of the things that I have run into during my talks

Grammar

Grammar has never been one of my strong suits, but one of the easiest things that you can fix during a presentation, is the grammar of your slides. Make sure that everything is spelled correctly, and that you have not made any other glaring grammatical errors. While you are doing a talk on programming, people will still try and find any holes in your presentation: even the grammar.

Code Examples

Another issue that I have run into while giving my presentations is my code examples. The first few presentations that I gave, I wrote a code example on a whiteboard. While it made sense at the time, the whiteboard examples were riddled with flaws, but they can be fixed easily. One of the easiest fixes to your code examples is to do them ahead of time and type them out. Doing this will allow you to proofread your code, and make sure that it is actually valid code by running it through an IDE. One of the other mistakes that I ran into during my presentations is that I started out writing valid code and then ended up writing pseudocode. This leads to your examples becoming convoluted and hard to follow. I now write my code examples in an IDE to make sure that it is valid, and that the code will actually work.

Other Things

Another great thing you can do to help out before your presentation, is to get set up beforehand and make sure your setup works. The first talk I gave was a mess because the screens didn't show what I wanted which resulted in me getting flustered during my talk. Lastly the best thing that you can do before a presentation is to practice practice practice. Practicing will help you become more confident in your presentation, and it will help you smooth out any bumpy points in your presentation.