Speech Anxiety for Game Developers

I've spent the past year and a bit travelling full-time from conference to conference, but I have no natural talent for public speaking whatsoever. The first time my boss asked me to speak on camera, I forgot my own name. Fifteen minutes before the second talk I ever gave, a man asked me if the seat next to me was taken and I was so nervous I couldn't understand the question and couldn't answer. I just stared at him until he walked away. 

But speaking at conferences is good. It's good for so many reasons. If you are working on something that you love, you can channel that energy to the audience. If you are working on something you don't care about at all, you can slow the destruction of your soul by talking about something you would love to work on. If you are part of an oppressed group in your day-to-day workplace, conferences are a chance not to be interrupted, not to be ignored, not to be the only one. They are a chance to be heard. When you share your ideas, you find kindred spirits and you open up opportunities for future collaborations. You also receive generous critiques and your ideas improve. It's community and it's good. 

Do you have something you want to say to the world, but are horrified by public speaking like I was? Slowly over time, adjusting with each terrifying misstep, I've developed a rigorous process for writing and giving talks. Maybe something in my process will help you find your voice too.

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