The video from my talk at ClojureConj 2013 has been posted. You can view it here.

ClojureConj is such a great conference, with great content. There are lots of very smart and very nice people in attendance, and the organizers do a tremendous job. One thing I really appreciate is the single-track format of the conference. Highly recommended.

Speaking for the First Time

I had never spoken at any conference of this type. I’ve done a fair amount of teaching in a church context, which can certainly be intimidating. That said, it was a mildly terrifying experience getting up to speak in front of the ~450 in attendance at ClojureConj. In the audience were the inventor of the Clojure language, along with most of the people who contribute to maintaining and extending the language, so I was certainly mindful of not making a fool of myself! But I’m truly glad I took the chance and submitted a talk this year. The next opportunity to speak to an audience of that sort will be easier.


The experience of speaking at this conference led me to seek out opportunities to get better at public speaking, which means getting more experience. My search led me to Toastmasters. I’d heard of Toastmasters before, but never made the effort to visit a local club. Toastmasters gives the opportunity to practice giving prepared speeches before a friendly, supportive audience. One of the parts of a meeting I appreciate the most, though, is “Table Topics.” The Table Topics portion of the meeting involves a member bringing a list of topics or questions, and calling on other club members to “think on their feet” to talk extemporaneously about a subject they were just presented with for 2-3 minutes. As someone who has always dreaded extemporaneous speaking, I found this to be a valuable challenge.