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Will you die? An important question before giving tech talks

ryderdamen profile image Ryder Damen ・1 min read

The night before I can't sleep. Five minutes before my hands are shaking.

Public speaking - no matter how many times I do it - still freaks me out. Especially when speaking on a topic where there are others in the room who know significantly more about it than me (which is all the time).

Five minutes before the talk I ask myself the question:

Will you die?

It's my way of reminding myself that even if the worst happens during the talk - I'll survive. Even if I forget everything I'm supposed to say, and the powerpoint slides have been replaced with pictures of hairless cats - I'll still survive. I may make a fool of myself, but the chances are good that I won't.

It's a phrase I picked up from a friend in improv a long time ago, and it's helped me overcome the nerves behind public speaking (and a lot more) ever since.


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andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

I have to do a tech talk tonight for the Toronto CTO Meetup Group and I would say I feel like I'm going to die because I am sick. 🤒

ryderdamen profile image
Ryder Damen Author

Nah you got this! Another trick I often remind myself is that if I pause, for me it feels like am eternity, but for the audience it feels like nothing.

Break a leg!