From Keyboard to Keynote

A one-day workshop for developers and software professionals interested in public speaking. Learn how to create and deliver great technical talks and presentations.

Speaking in front of an audience, whether in person or online, can be daunting - but it doesn’t have to be. This workshop will show you how to create and deliver great technical talks, whether you’re speaking at industry conferences, doing a talk at your local meetup group, or just sharing ideas with your own team.

You’ll learn how to design a talk - gather ideas, create a structure, develop your material to suit a particular format or time limit. You’ll learn how to use humour and storytelling to connect with your audience; how to use images, text and animation to create compelling slide decks, and how to present code and live demos.

By the end of the day you’ll have created and prepared two short (3-minute) talks; talks are recorded on video, and a few days after the workshop I’ll follow up with some detailed feedback on your presentations - what worked well, what didn’t work so well, and some recommendations for improvement.

Workshop Structure


  • Kick off, intro, who is everybody and what are they hoping to get out of the event?
  • What makes a great talk?

How to Design a Talk

  • Collecting ideas, brainstorming, structures
  • Classic talk structures - the narrative, the ‘top ten’ list, the three-act play
  • Pacing and timing - how do you know how much content to prepare?

Breakout Session 1: Design A Talk.

Attendees prepare a 3-minute talk on any subject they like - with no slides or props.

Presentations 1

Everybody presents their first 3-minute talk to the rest of the group.

Understanding your audience

  • How to pitching your talk
  • Etiquette and codes of conduct
  • Using humour
  • Dealing with feedback
  • How to do a good Q&A

Slides and Visuals

  • Why use slides, anyway?
  • Tips and tricks
  • Working with technical content
  • Advanced Powerpoint
  • Copyright and fair use

Presenting Technical Content

  • Pros and cons of live coding demos
  • How to present diagrams and technical detail

Breakout Sessions 2

  • This time, attendees have three minutes to teach the audience something technical.
  • Could be the same as earlier; could be something else.
  • Use slides, diagrams, animation or whatever you want to.

Presentations 2

  • Follow-up discussion - how did it go? Review feedback.

Practical Tips and Disaster Recovery

  • How to prepare for the things you can’t prepare for
  • Preparation timelines and coping mechanisms
  • Speaker horror stories (and why they weren’t that bad after all!)

Discussion, Q&A and wrap up

About the Trainer

Dylan Beattie is a software developer, musician and international keynote speaker. With over 20 years' experience working in the software industry, Dylan has spoken and taught at over 100 software development conferences all over the world. He's the founder and director of Ursatile, established in 2020 to provide high-quality workshop training for software professionals. He was CTO at Skills Matter in London from 2017 to 2019, and throughout 2020 he's been working with NDC Conferences to virtualise their events in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dylan is a Microsoft MVP for Developer Technologies, and the creator of the Rockstar programming language. You can find him online at or on Twitter as @dylanbeattie

Upcoming Course Dates

No public dates are currently scheduled.

If you'd like to run this workshop for your team or at your conference, please get in touch

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