Are you curious about what it's like to be a speaker at a major event? Look no further! In this blog post, you'll get an inside look at one speaker's experience at the first event of 2023. From choosing a topic to preparing the presentation and intro video to deal with unexpected challenges, am going to share my journey and the valuable lessons I learned along the way.
As this was the second time where I delivered by talking in person. You all might think about what is the difference and new things about sharing experiences about events as a speaker.
Once you start reading you will get to know what has changed and what is a new experience. For me, every new event gives me back something and I will able to give back to events. So, Whatever thing I do I look at this experience and learning. Try to pen down so that it can help me and others too.
In January AWS User Group Dehradun announced CFP ( call for paper ) on its Instagram page. I missed another opportunity so decided to grab this opportunity. But the question was open. Which topic gives a talk on?
Recently my blog on "AWS Application Composer " got a good response and got appreciation from AWS Community Program. So I decided to give a talk on this topic which does not require more preparation and familiar to me. Because since the CFP submission to giving a talk having less time and due to my office workload not been able to take out time for preparing a new topic.
Then submitted the topic as "Introduction to AWS Application Composer". Now have to wait for the approval. Got approval too. Now time to start working on the presentation and intro video creation. One of the best parts of any conference or event I like always to record an intro video which talks about your topic and you.
You might think what is the big deal in this? But for me as said above every event or opportunity I look at new learning and a new way to improve myself. Your competition with yourself to make yourself better than before. This time recording was much better than the earlier recording. One important thing to give everyone here is to be realistic about what you have or what ascent you use. Because that is the best way to speak about yourself confidently.
So record the intro video and PPT need to finalise the title of your talk. I have submitted the talk in hurry but thinking about changing the title. One of the observations I found is any great or experienced speaker if you look at their presentation or title interestingly drafts the title or some story around the topic. So, I started thinking about what will new title for the talk. Then I landed on Rohini Gaonkar YouTube channel 👇🏻 and found the idea for the topic "From Diagram to Infrastructure as Code"
Started working on PPT and intro video with the title "From Diagram to Infrastructure as Code". You can find PPT for my talk here 👇🏻. Kept very simple not much text because I prefer more talk while presenting. The interesting thing I changed while flying to Dehradun at Bangalore airport is why to use always the traditional word "Agenda" can try something different so I used "What is inside the tiffin today? " because everyone will always curious to know what will be there inside the tiffin. Similarly, what is there in the next presentation slides?
For me always everything comes after challenges. I booked a flight just one week before my son got sick and omitted daily at night or midnight time. The thing was not improving so I was thinking to drop the plan. I called Dheeraj and told him I might drop the plan because along me Dheeraj, Vishal and Rohit were coming from Pune and Mumbai. I told him I am still observing the situation if the situation is controlled I will join or else drop out. He gave me support and said don't worry Avinash he will be fine in the day and you are coming to the event. Me and Trupti (My wife) were also discussing cancelling the plan but she also said don't worry Avi he will be fine and if anything is still there I will manage you to go and give your talk. You don't believe my friends gave me a different solution we tried that day everything and we consulted the doctor also. To be surprised he started improving and the situation was better. after 3-4 days he became fine. I informed Dheeraj is I am coming. I would like to thank those who all supported and stood with me.
Finally, I landed in Dehradun "Dehradun the city of Love" we all Dheeraj Chaudhary, Vishal Alhat and Ganesh met at the airport. We started our journey toward our hotel. We discussed so many technical and non-technical topics. That never ended the conversation. I am amazed at Ganesh's effort and enthusiasm to attend the event as he is a co-founder of KonfHub.com. He always makes sure the transition goes smoothly.
One day before the event day we met all volunteers and organisers of the event we all are amazed to see the energy and effort they are putting in at this age. We also told them we are first community members and later speakers anything required help feels free to ask. Along with me, two AWS UG Pune organisers were there Vishal and Dheeraj guiding them from their experience and learning.
A good part of the community is learning, sharing and growing together. I experienced this on AWS Community Day Dehradun 2023. I would like to highlight a few things.
What was special in ACD Dehradun 2023?
Happening first time in Dehradun
Drive by the youngest community group in India
The audience was full of students
Energetic user group and ready to try anything
Arranged student project booth for competition - which is a different idea
Finally, the event started
Keynotes started with Ridhima Kapoor from AWS. She gives good advice "Focus on building the right skill set instead of company name or brand ". Later Anjana Khandhuri explained many aspects of deciding about anything example "What is important which is not urgent" or "What is urgent which is not important" which will surely help the audience to decide on their career or path. The third speaker was Dheeraj Chaudhary he explained nicely to the audience about Infrastructure as code ( IaC). After that was my turn.
Before my talk, while Dheeraj was giving the talk we were discussing Cloud Computing and I was explaining simple ways about Cloud computing these words stayed back in my mind while giving my talk I was supposed to explain IaC with examples but I made some goof-up mix Cloud computing and IaC examples together. But once I realised I made mistake somehow I managed that. I feel the topic was a little bouncer for students but made some on-the-fly changes to explain them in a better way.
During lunchtime, I had a good time discussing with many students their queries regarding
How to start with AWS?
Whether they should focus on algorithms or not?
What should sequence in the resume to get better visibility
I tried my best to solve their queries. After lunch, We were evaluating projects created by students as judges and it took more time. I was able to attend only Rohit and Abhinav's session on Kubernetes. I missed many sessions after that due to time constraints and having a return flight.
I have tried one more thing in this talk which I forget to mention above is recording a demo video instead of giving a live demo. This helps me to tackle a situation-based problems like controlling video after every statement or internet connectivity or laptop issues etc. Recorded demo video with keeping the time gap in between each action so that I can talk in between easily. This helps me to deliver my demo session smoothly.
What I got from this event :
Meeting friends from the community
Making new connections
Helped students to solve their queries
Meeting the youngest and most energetic AWS user group team
The most important part is learning and improvement.
Thanks, AWS User Group Dehradun for giving opportunity. See this amazing team behind this show and many more volunteers will be there who helped to make a successful event.
In conclusion, being a speaker at a major event can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. From overcoming unexpected obstacles to connecting with new people and sharing knowledge, the journey is full of valuable lessons and opportunities for growth. As we've seen through my experience, preparation and a positive attitude can make all the difference. So, if you're ever presented with the opportunity to speak at an event, embrace the challenge and take the chance to learn, share, and grow with others.
Thank you for reading this experience journey. I hope you also learn from this. Feel free to reach out to me on my Twitter handle @AvinashDalvi_ or comment on the blog.
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