Nicky Tests Software: Developing your thoughts: Talking out loud

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Developing your thoughts: Talking out loud

Now that I've started actively preparing for my "Testing so you can move on" talk at Testbash Belfast and Romanian Testing Conference, I've started to notice how my thought process is developing as a result of talking out loud.


Bit of background first so you have an idea how I'm preparing:

  • I'm focussing on getting my first draft done (almost there, just need to expand a bit more on one of my key points first)
  • Then I'll start on the slides 
  • I'll look into how the slides and talk "fit" each other
  • Then I'll go back and forth between slides and talk aiming to reach a deliverable presentation ASAP
  • After that, just refine until I deliver the presentation

I'd like to share a little bit about my thought process and what I learn/gain from talking out loud when preparing to give talks at conferences or give speeches at Toastmasters .



By talking out loud  I want to:

Develop my thoughts and structure my ideas

Firstly, I did submit this talk a few months ago and did have a good idea about what I wanted to say, but I think that my thoughts were all a bit scattered and weren't well organised. Talking out loud is helping me structure my ideas. 
(This is my main concern now as I write my first draft)

Narrow down the scope

It's helping me narrow down the scope, as I started writing my talk, at times, I found that the scope of my talk was increasing when it shouldn't have been. I've got a pretty clear idea in my head about what I want to say and what I hope attendees will get out of it. Talking out loud helps me "come back to reality" and realise "hang on, you don't need this" in a way that just writing my talk wouldn't.


Learn to speak in a way that's easy to listen to

I think a written speech/talk is different to the actual speech/talk itself - until you say things out loud, you don't know for sure if things will work. One thing I've learned is that information is received differently when you hear it as opposed to when you read it. Because of this I'm trying to keep my sentences short (or at least not unnecessarily long), use words that are better suited for verbal communication as opposed to written and wonder how to "break down" the talk (like paragraphs would in a book or written article).
(This part is the least of my worries until after I've done the slides)