preparing to share: promos & outlines

Another entry in my “preparing to share” series where i’m hoping to give an open look at preparing my first 2 conference talks

Check out the full series here

Also sharing on my YouTube Channel


. . .

Less than a month out now, so I wanted to start on some outlines for the talks so I know how much work I need to plan out for the coming month



ChicagoRoboto’s twitter keeps giving the daily countdown which has been a daily dose of reality because it’s getting much harder to act like these talks are still a long way off

This is both scary, and really exciting

Chicago Roboto on Twitter

In just 41 days #ChicagoRoboto 2018 brings @n8ebel to the stage, to present ‘Tips From the Time Machine: Things I Wish I’d Known When Starting a Career as an Android dev’ ( #android

Tangent Complete

. . .

Conference Promos

Speakers for Droidcon Boston were encouraged to create a short promo video to introduce ourselves and give a little peak into who we are.

I really loved this idea, and thought I would go ahead and create a video for Chicago Roboto as well.

In fact, I loved the idea so well I ended up creating 5 videos 😀

The first 2 have gone out.  You can find them on twitter or on my YouTube Channel




My goal for the weekend was to create general outlines for each of my upcoming talks

Nate Ebel on Twitter

goal for today was to get an outline going for my @droidconbos talk if i just copy/paste my proposal into a markdown file and let @decksetapp do its thing I’m done for the day right??


I’m planning to use Deckset to create my slides from markdown, so I started outlining by just creating 2 markdown documents.


Outline Process

My initial outline process was pretty straightforward, and largely followed the outlines I laid out in my talk proposals

This is a great added benefit to providing nice detail in your abstract.  Telling people exactly what they will expect to learn also helps you know exactly what you’re going to talk about 🙂


  • Add 1 slide each for Intro & Outro
    • Include 3 key takeaways to be introduced and summarized
    • Really want to make sure I’m clear on my takeaways throughout my prep so everything can really focus in on those points
  • added headers for each of the main themes i wanted to touch on
    • My talk proposals served as the outline for my outline 😀
    • This built out the general structure/flow of the talks


Next, I broke some of those themes down into multiple sub-points

  • Each sub-point got a new slide
    • Maybe an extra line or two of text
    • In a few places, I added some (hidden) speaker notes to prompt the points I want to be sure to make
    • This started to show which points will need extra info and where the majority of time will be spent during the talk


Finally, to help understand the flow of the talk I added a few section transition slides to help me call out important takeaways or highlights

At the end of this process, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to start and end each presentation, what points I wanted to focus in on, and the general flow of the core of each presentation.

I’ll start filling in the details next week.



So far, I’ve found Deckset to be pretty convenient.  I don’t plan to do anything too crazy for slides in these upcoming talks so I don’t find myself missing any features that other tools might have.

I like the simplicity of markdown, and am finding that it’s letting me get out of my own way by limiting/handling theming for me and letting me simply focus on content.

I tend to get distracted playing with themes


Example Deckset markdown

footer: @n8ebel
slidenumbers: true

# Tips From the Time Machine
> Things I Wish I’d Known When Starting a Career as an Android dev


# Intro



creates the following

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 12.36.48 PM.png



While building my outlines, I was starting to feel the nerves a bit; particularly with my Droidcon Boston talk.  Because it’s the first one, and it’s more technical, the doubts start to creep into my mind when I think about presenting at that conference.

Amazingly, during the middle of all this, I decided on a whim I would watch Chiu-Ki Chan’s talk from Droidcon Boston 2017 “How to be an Android Expert

This was just what I needed to hear during the middle of my prep.  It reassured me that things are going to be fine, largely by reminding me of how many friendly, welcoming people are part of the Android community.

Nate Ebel on Twitter

if you’re even remotely interested in blogging or speaking give this talk from @chiuki a watch (or 2)…. be warned, if you weren’t interested before you very well might be after watching


Outlines are Underway

Nate Ebel on Twitter

Outlines for my upcoming talks are shaping up…actually diving into the prep is helping the nerves 😅


By the end of the weekend I had my 2 outlines started.  Jumping in, and actually starting to build out the talks was great.  It made the whole thing very real.  It’s still hard for me to believe that I’m going to be on a stage somewhere sharing what I know to a room full of great devs.

While the nerves still come and go, I’m really starting to get excited for the experience and to meet/interact with those in attendance.

More prep to come this week… until next time.


Onwards to Boston & Chicago!




Thoughts or advice on prepping for public speaking? Comment below or share on social media.  I’d love to continue the conversation.

I love to meet/talk/discuss and help where I can. If you want to chat or ask a question you can follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Check Out My YouTube Channel

About Nate Ebel

Husband Fur Dad Software Engineer Runner Geek I aim to cultivate a growth mindset in myself, and others, in hope we can effect positive change in the world.

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