I've been a conference speaker for 10 years; I've given many talks, been to many events, organised a few events, and now have Opinions (TM) about conference speaking. This tweet showed up in my feed when someone tweeted at me to thank me for my support in their talks.
Advice for conf speakers:— Tomasz Łakomy @ 🇩🇪 (@tlakomy) August 25, 2018
When someone you care for is speaking, sit in the first row. Be there for them. Laugh at their jokes, _actually_ watch the talk (Twitter can wait), make yourself visible for them.
Be the audience you'd like to have, and next time you will have it.
My approach to supporting other speakers is not really about the audience I would like (we're all different!), but more about making two things happen:
- someone being the best they can be
- them getting credit for that
In fact I've been a speaker coach and mentor for a few years and have variously watched rehearsals, suggested where to stand and not stand, walked nervous speakers around outside before their talk, fetched water ... all sorts of things. However this twitter thread (I got a bunch of tweets and the replies are also great) shows that _anyone_ can give great support to any speaker, whether you know them or not. Here are my favourite three things to do to support anyone giving a talk. Continue reading