Oct 21 2013
Next week is the RSA Europe conference in Amsterdam. I’m speaking three times at the conference, once as a sponsor, once with my own topic and once in a lightning talk, aka a Pecha Kucha talk. And at just 6’40″, it’s the PK talk that scares me the most.
The PK talk scares me because it’s such a rigid format. 20 slides set to forward automatically every 20 seconds means you have to have your patter down. I don’t usually speak in public like that. I generally use my slides as a template that I can hang talking points off of, but I don’t have a rigid script I’m talking to. This lets me control the pace and the timing as I want to, rather than needing to go at a set pace. So, yeah, it scares me.
The other part of giving the lightning talk is that some of the best speakers in security have given them, and I can’t help but compare myself and be found wanting. Katie Moussouris, Josh Corman, and Rich Mogull, all friends, have given the talks and rave about how much fun it is, but they also talk about how hard the format is. Any one of them probably have a dozen times the speaking experience I do, and if they found it hard, how is it going to be for me?
So, if you’re in Amsterdam next week at RSA Europe, whatever you do, don’t come to the lightning talks! Don’t come see me embarass myself! I already feel like an idiot abroad, don’t make it any worse.