To give a speaking in public for the first time is always scary. At the DataWeekender in October last year, Angela Henry who was moderating some sessions together with me, mentioned that there is a website where you can look for mentors and recommended it to me if I would want to pick up speaking. The website is speakingmentors.com and was created by Alex Yates, so I’ve later learned.
At the end of March this year, I’ve decided that I want to start to speak this year. Originally, I’ve planned to start to do so after my studies for Master of Advanced Studies in Business Intelligence at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich. However, I’ve been wanting to start speaking for a longer time, so I’ve just gave it a go after I would finish my first part of this studies for which I received the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Machine Learning just recently. If everything goes as planned, I’ll be finishing my studies in spring 2022.
Originally, I’ve planned to start at a New Stars Of Data event in 2022 and this spring, it actually fell in the time when I had to write the thesis for the CAS Machine Learning so that was not an option. But then there was DataWeekender for which I decided to apply to speak for.
So I went to the website for looking a mentor to get me some insights on how one should prepare and deliver a speaking. Through speakingmentors.com, I quickly found out that Sander Stad specializes more or less the same topic I’ve decided to talk about and contacted him. Sander is a very experienced speaker and did give me more than a few tips and tricks on how to improve a talk. Angela was right: speakingmentors.com is a very helpful resource you should turn to if you’re deciding to speak for the first time.
I would like to thank some people who gave me their support in this little journey:
- My employer OneDigit AG who supported me to start speaking on events
- My wife Vivien who supported me by supporting me emotionally and giving me the time to prepare my speaking.
- Sander Stad for his mentorship, advices and encouragements from his enormous experience he gave me. It was my honor to be your mentee, Sander! And I might add, we actually had some very nice conversations together! I’ll owe you more than just a beer!
- Angela Henry for casually pointing me to speakingmentors.com and sparked the idea in me in the first place. Thank you a lot for that!
- Alex Yates for having the idea and actually creating this website with which you may find your future mentor. A nice and funny guy whom I’ve had the chance to meet over MS Teams once. Thank you!
- The guys behind DataWeekender: Kevin Chant, Gethyn Ellis, Mark Hayes and Damir Matešić who gave my the first opportunity to speak publicly. That was a great experience and your event will always be specially remembered!
- Nikola Illic who was encouraging me for speaking almost until I had to switch my microphone on. Thanks!
- A huge thanks to the audience I’ve had - I was very nervous, but I hope that wasn’t too noticeable!
Thank you so much to everybody! Without you, my journey wouldn’t had been half fun! I am still learning and will be continuing my journey. And Alex, should I once feel that I’ve got enough experience, I’ll walk on Sanders path and sign up to your site to be a mentor for a next new speaker.
PS: If you’re looking for my DataWeekender session files, they’re over here.