My First talk as a Speaker

Heart pounding against my chest, my throat dry as a barren road and hands shaking in nervousness and anxiety. As someone said a name that sounded similar. All eyes turned on me, prying. As they announced “the next speaker we are going to have is Vipul Gupta .. for his talk on Software Development using Version Control System (git)”

Now for all those who don’t know what that means, or not interested that much in code or technology. Can ignore the terminology and focus more on the experience and my thoughts. I will try to be brief.

How/Where/When/Why

The talk I gave was part of a meetup organized by Indian Linux Users Group Delhi (ILUG-D) on 8th October 2017 in which students, professionals, enthusiasts, and contributors to the open-source domain with similar interests meet, discuss and learn together. There are talks and workshops organized and scheduled by the group. It’s was an informal talk but nowhere lacking in sincerity or strictness. About 80-100 people came who listen, learn and ask questions about the topic. Which makes it even better.

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The meetup was held at Bhagwan Parshuram Institute of Technology, Delhi with the theme set as ” Back to Basics ” All the talks were aimed at beginners and students who were just starting to explore the open-source domain. Talks are proposed by the members of the group on Github as issues. Mine is here and the schedule for that day is here.

What was it about?

My talk was about Version Control System, git, Github and git workflow. It was partly a hands-on workshop aimed at making the people learn about harnessing the powers of git. Understand how git works. How projects are built and how git makes them better and easier to contribute and manage. VCS is used all over the world by programmers and enthusiasts to systematically work on different projects at different times. To be more efficient. Here are the slides that I prepared on the topic.

How did it go?

Well, it went fine.
And you probably want to hear more than that I suppose. I reached the venue and someone’s else talk was going on. I was 2-3 hours early. I was a little stressed about the talk but who isn’t, right?  I honestly never had a problem with public speaking. I just have a constant numb feeling in my feet when I am on stage. Which I drowse by walking around and interacting with the audience. Then too, minutes before one go on stage. The nerves kick in, mouth goes dry, the mind blanks out and ears start humming. At least mine did. You take that walk from your seat to the mike. That long walk. With every eye in the room trained on you. You got people’s attention and now they want to listen to you. Speak. Speak. Speak. Your mind replies. And then in that make or break moment, your heart knows what do to do.

And mine did… I guess. It went well. Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to say everything I wanted to. I am satisfied with whatever I said. I took feedback from many individuals and broadly got a positive response. But I need to improve more on my speaking skills. Which I will with time. Need to interact more with the audience. And keep checking if they understand me. Cross-check with them if they understood me in the form of questions. If they didn’t understand then what’s the point of the talk.

 

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Picture of the meetup

My talk was over in about an hour. As the hands-on workshop was going on. I was asked many technical questions. Which I answered gladly. In my talk, I was assisted by Sanyam Khurana who helped me when things slightly began to go downhill. Thanks to him it was a success.

Well, there’s my first talk. In the many more, that are going to come. This is an experience everyone should have at least once in their life. The sharing of knowledge sure goes a long way. Giving a talk has many personal benefits too, I would write about them in my next post.

Till then live in the mix !!

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