My Public Speaking Pivot…Next up?

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My Public Speaking Pivot…Next up?

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I just realized the other day that I’ve made a public speaking pivot without really explaining it clearly nor exploring the why behind it. So, here it is.

I’ve been presenting around software development, quality, agile, and leadership topics for over 20-years. Across a wide variety of formats including panel discussions, talks, workshops, and keynotes.

I’ve had the chance to share in Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and Africa.

In the early days, I submitted to the Call for Papers/Submissions and waited patiently to hear feedback. But over time and with experience, I more often was invited to share.

All of these speaking opportunities were in-person. And then, Covid-19 emerged and things have changed. As have I over time.

1.     Invitation only—I’m rarely submitting to speak at conferences or other events any longer. I’ve found the process to be tedious, lacking of transparency & feedback, and not very friendly or supportive of the speakers. If you’d like me to speak at your event, please reach out with an invitation and we can explore topics. 

2.     Pair-speaking—Even before Covid, I was in the habit of pairing in my public speaking and training. I’ve done that with many folks, Mary Thorn and Josh Anderson are examples of it. If and when I do share in the future, I’ll be looking to do that with a co-speaker whenever possible. Particularly with woman, people of color, or veterans who are looking to “break into” public speaking in the agile space. 

3.     Giving Space—I want to “step back” and give space to other voices. Particularly to women’s voices and to people of color. This aligns with my D&I efforts and my supporting actions. I think I’ve had my run and I’m looking forward to creating the space for new ideas and new voices.

4.     Mentoring—related to #2 and #3, I’d like to serve as a mentor to anyone who’s interested in developing their speaking capabilities. This starts by reviewing your submission & topic ideas, refining them, and submitting them. Then help with talk development when you’ve been selected. I’m even keen to listen to you practice and critique your talk. Anything I can do to help you gain confidence and experience.

First of all, I hope this doesn’t seem like I’m full of myself. I’m truly not. In many ways, it’s just an evolutionary step for me. One that I’ve seen coming for a while and one I am looking forward to.

Secondly, I’d encourage my peer speakers, those who’ve had a significant run on their stage, to consider my pivot. To begin developing others and giving them the space that you’ve had the privilege to inhabit.

Speaking as I have for over 20-years has been a distinct part of my personal and professional growth and development. And it’s been a great honor and privilege. One that I want to pass along to as many others as I possibly can.

Stay agile my friends,



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