Speaking at d.Construct

I like public speaking. I know that it strikes the fear of God into some people, but I get a kick out of it. As long as I’m speaking on a subject that I care about, there’s nothing I like more than addressing a captive audience.

I’ve done a fair bit of talking this year, with more on the way. Usually when I stand in front of a crowd, it’s to talk about DOM Scripting or Ajax. This year’s d.Construct was different. I had the opportunity to talk about APIs.

I have some experience with using a few APIs but I’m by no means an expert. Rather than attempt to give an in-depth technical overview of Web Services, I decided to share my personal experiences. It was the developer’s equivalent of showing off holiday snapshots.

I was kind of nervous about how it would go down. What I was doing was quite self-indulgent. But people seemed to like it. It’s funny, but as many a songwriter will tell you, the more personal you make something, the more universal its appeal.

Most people seemed to really enjoy the talk. That was probably helped by the fact that I kept it fairly short. After half an hour, I was done. That left plenty of time for questions and answers, which are always the best bit. There were some great questions from the audience that prompted even more babble from me.

I have to say, it was particularly pleasant to find myself speaking to an audience of over 300 people in Brighton. I felt proud to speak as a representative of my adopted town. With d.Construct, Andy has shown that it’s possible to put on a large, well-organised event outside London.

Here’s a page of links to sites I mentioned during my talk. I don’t think I’ll bother putting my slides online: they make absolutely no sense without the explanation to go with them.

My talk, along with all the others, was recorded by Drew, who did a fantastic job. They’ll popping up in the podcast before too long. I’m getting my talking transcribed through Casting Words and I’ll publish it once it’s ready.

Ian Forrester also managed to make a video of the whole thing. It’s weird being able to watch myself speaking. I use my hands almost as much as Simon does.

With the benefit of video playback, I can now say that I’m glad I wore my suit. In fact, I think what I really need is proper evening wear. Can’t you just seem me giving a presentation in a top hat and tails? I could even use a cane for pointing at the slides.

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