Chapter 29. How to Not Throw Up

As soon as you decide to become a professional nerd, either via a university degree or simply because you sit up all night writing Python to scratch your particular technical itch, you think you absolve yourself of having to stand up in front of a group of people and make a presentation.

And you might be right.

Then there’s a chance you’re going to build or think something brilliant, and no mailing list, weblog, or wiki is going to be able to contain this brilliance. Those who want to hear about your brilliance are going to insist that you stand in front of them and explain this bright thing that you did or thought.

Conflict. Yes, you want to explain your brightness, but, um, the last time you stood in front of people and told a story was Ms. Randall’s 11th grade English class, and you stumbled through an incoherent ramble about Henry David Thoreau and some pond.

Unlike that pond, you are immensely qualified to talk about your topic, but you’re totally unqualified to present in front of a group of people. It’s not just that you haven’t had the practice, but that lack of practice has given you the erroneous impression that there’s a good chance you might throw up if you have to stand up and tell a story in front of 500 people.

Not Throwing Up Is a Two-Phase Process

This chapter is about presentations, not content. Both are equally important, but I’m not here to help you write your content; I’m here to transform that content into a presentation that doesn’t ...

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