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The Public Speaking Workshop

On Sunday, October 15th, Jeff will present a full-day workshop for those interested in learning how to be a better public speaker. And in the Release Notes tradition, it will be practical and hands-on, with tangible outcomes.

And, two students will be selected to perform their lightning talks at the Release Notes conference!


This workshop will teach the skills needed to feel confident, whether while pitching an investor, proposing a project to a client, or getting up on stage at a conference or meet up. Learning how to thrive in the spotlight is an essential part of taking a career to the next level.

In the morning session, students will explore the basics of using gestures, body language, motion, and their voice to be better communicators. They’ll also learn techniques to encourage confidence in front of an audience. There’s plenty of opportunity to practice. It’s not just theory.

In the afternoon, each student will prepare, rehearse, and record a 5 minute lightning talk. About a week before the workshop, students will brainstorm ideas in the Slack channel to ensure each student is prepared with a topic for the lightning talk, three to five supporting points, and a couple good quotes.

Because our community is always in need of a diverse selection of voices, scholarships are available for under-represented minorities in the industry. Please contact scholarships@speakersunion.org for more details.

The workshop is limited to 10 students. Each student will receive a Kensington presentation remote and a link to the video of their lightning talk.


Location and Schedule

The workshop will take place before the main Release Notes conference gets underway. So students of the workshop will still get the full experience of attending the Release Notes conference.

Sunday, 15 October from 10am to 5pm

@ Marriott Chicago at Medical District

There will be a break for lunch

About Jeff Watkins

Jeff Watkins is an iOS developer living with his daughter and four cats on beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington. In the past he’s been an itinerant Javascript teacher with his fingers stained by dry erase markers. He lost his fear of public speaking in front of standing room only audiences of more than a thousand fellow engineers. He prefers speaking on non-technical topics at more intimate venues now. His mission is to help make public speaking a common part of the engineer’s toolkit.


Space is limited. Email us to get your ticket for this workshop today. A ticket to the main conference is required in order to attend. Learn more about the great work Jeff is doing to teach our community public speaking skills at speakersunion.org

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