Ways To Participate In The Data Community Instead Of Speaking

It’s Hard Out There For A Pup

When you’re first getting started speaking, you might find it difficult to get picked, or find events to speak at where the schedule works for you.

Event organizers, or people who vote to select sessions might not recognize your name yet. If you’re presenting about a topic in a crowded field, it can be difficult to get noticed unless you gin up awesome session titles and abstracts.

Some groups meet during the day when you might have work obligations you can’t step away from, and some might happen at night where you have family obligations you can’t step away from.

Or, like, you might still be working.

Who knows, but I hope not.

If you want to participate in the community in ways that can get you some name recognition, or fit in your schedule (or both!), here are some ways to do it.

Answer Me

Here are some good Q&A sites:

Answering questions on these is great experience, because there’s such a wide variety of topics. Heck, even just reading Q&A can be valuable.

There are some downsides, though: Many questions are poorly asked. They’re not bad questions, but there’s either so little information or so many local factors at play, it can be frustrating.

You gotta learn early to walk away from those.

Painted Word

If you’re the strong, silent type, you can take your presentation and turn it into a series of blogs. Not everyone enjoys interacting publicly like that, and that’s a very valid way to feel.

I know it sounds crazy — why would someone come to your session if the material is available online, at their convenience?

Because watching someone do something brings life to it. Do you like reading your favorite movie script as much as you like watching your favorite movie?

I don’t.

The other nice thing is that you can write really detailed blog posts, which takes some of the strain off having every ounce of minutiae in your session. You can point people to your posts once you’ve covered the most important parts of your topic.

There’s also a lot of value in writing your material out in long form. You’ll notice all sorts of extra things you want to explore, and you have the space to do it.

Be Kind, Rewind

If you have the setup to do it, because for some weird reason you had to start working from home full time, it can be fun to record your session.

It forces you to deliver the whole thing, say it out loud, and figure out how you want to say things.

I’m gonna be honest with you: the way you write things down isn’t gonna be the same way you say them out loud.

If you’re happy with it, put it on YouTube.

Why These Things?

Remember up at the top of the post where I talked about name recognition? All of these things can help establish that.

And look, I’m not saying you have to do any of these things. You’re under no obligation. But if you want to get into speaking, these are all activities that can help you get started, and make you better at it.

Thanks for reading!

Going Further

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