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Dan Abramov Dec 25
Huh, writing this is turning out more difficult than I thought
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Dan Abramov Dec 25
Replying to @dan_abramov
The part I struggle most with is figuring out what to talk about. A lot of people ask me: “How to pick a good topic? How do I know my thoughts are interesting to other people and are unique?”
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Dan Abramov Dec 25
Replying to @dan_abramov
There’s a lot of feel-good advice like “Start anywhere! Pick any topic, somebody will find it interesting!” I understand why it makes sense for beginner speakers. You don’t want to alienate them from first talks. But it also makes any advice look like gatekeeping.
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Dan Abramov Dec 25
Replying to @dan_abramov
There’s a balance here that is difficult for me to express. “Don’t doubt yourself, you’ll do great, your thoughts are interesting” is a part of it. But if you don’t find your own thoughts interesting then it might be challenging to convince your audience of that.
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Jackie Luo Dec 25
Replying to @dan_abramov
i think two typical types of talks are new tech and new perspective. the first discusses a technical innovation by some definition; it’s not super accessible to beginners because most beginners aren’t innovating technically because they’re still learning the fundamentals.
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Jackie Luo
the second is pretty accessible because everyone has a unique perspective on what they’re doing, and it’s valuable to hear it. but i think most people think of the first kind of talk, so that can be intimidating, which is why so much tech talk advice is unbundling that?
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Dan Abramov Dec 25
Replying to @jackiehluo
That’s fair. So maybe I can explicitly clarify I’m talking about what works for the first kind of talk.
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Jackie Luo Dec 25
Replying to @dan_abramov
but i don’t think your blog post has to be accessible to everyone, either, as long as you don’t position it that way! the talks you’ve given have typically been the former, i think (?), and talking about how you develop that kind of talk specifically is really helpful, too.
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Jackie Luo Dec 25
Replying to @dan_abramov
yeah, exactly! i’ve given a few “perspective” talks, and i’m pretty comfortable with that, but i still have no idea how to talk about something i’m doing that’s technically interesting/new to people.
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Mohamoud Osman Dec 26
You nailed it. I’ve never given a talk but I do listen to a lot of talks (Tkx to YouTube) and always it’s because I either I want to hear from an innovator or from a unique prospective as you described.
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