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Thoughts on public speaking

I've had the privilege of speaking at You Gotta Love Frontend every year since 2017, and this year, I will be opening the Vilnius edition. I've never been a keynote speaker before so this is pretty cool.

One of the things I tend to do when invited to speak is to research the country itself to find out more about the language, culture and people, and incorporate that knowledge into the talk in some capacity. I also end up spending a lot of time working on my pronunciation, especially for languages whose sounds are not native to my mother tongue.

Public speaking is a big part of Developer Relations, and something I had been doing before I joined the industry. I know that there are a boatload of excellent resources out there on how to give a good talk, but at the same time, I believe there is no one right way to go about it.

Everyone has their own style and method of preparation. To me, it doesn't matter if the speaker is animated and energetic or reserved and soft-spoken, because it is the passion about the subject matter that makes all the difference.

My favourite CSS talk ever is by a brilliant Chinese developer, Yuan Chuan, on generative art with CSS. He is soft-spoken, and a little bit on the shy side, and his style of speaking is probably much less expressive than what most Western cultures are used to. But that is exactly what made his talk all the more compelling.

It was as if his passion for the subject was emanating from every fibre of his being. He didn't have to raise his voice or gesticulate wildly. And the steady cadence of his voice allowed the audience to give his artistic creations their full attention.

I guess my point is, embrace your own speaking style, and don't try to be like somebody else, because there's only one of you, and that is truly something special.