On Speaking

I’ve been off the speaking circuit for a while now. After a successful 2012 and 2013, I let my public speaking take a backseat to focus on my new role at Yell. I’m really happy to have got to a point in this role where I can begin to talk at the work that I’m doing here, and there’s a lot that I’m really proud of.

Recently I got back up on the stage at Oxford Geek Night to do Yell’s first technology talk in a very long time. It was a five minute slot, nothing grand, but it was to a room full of people I didn’t know, though many who I recognised from their Twitter profiles but was too nervous to say “hello, I really like what you do”. I was far more nervous before the talk than I’d been in a very long time, the kind of dancing nerves that make you triple-check the order of the slides, even though I’d been through them twenty times. Then, just as I stepped onto the stage there was this serene moment where all the nerves dropped away, I plugged my laptop in, took up the remote and started talking.

And everyone was awesome

I couldn’t have wished for a better crowd – twangs of nostalgia for the brand, laughter in all of the right places, and people listening to the message, which was fantastic. I have no idea if it was even useful for people, but I am so pleased that I did it – and the buzz that goes with it is like nothing else.

So, I’m going to do it again. I’ve expanded the talk so that I can actually go into some detail, and I can’t wait to give it again. I’ve got another date in my diary already which I’ll share soon. Until then, the short version of the slides are embedded below.

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Steve Workman

Steve Workman is the Head of Web Engineering at Yell. He is also an organiser for London Web Standards is an occasional public speaker, talking about web performance and web standards

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