Not sure how relevent is my question in this place. It’s related to speaking without being prepared.
Here’s my context:
when I speak at conferences I use to prepare all what I’ll say and spend a lot of time before the conference day so that I know what I’ll avoid any kind of stress.
It happens that I’m invited to a live round table where I don’t know any of the things that will be discussed depending on the real time chat. It’s of course related to testing and agile testing to be more precise but at the same time a lot of topic could be linked
• Want to know what are your tips to manage improvisation ?
• How to make the best of your story telling when you don’t have a direct answer to the asked question ? or not having a real story from your context
• How to manage imposter syndrom as well when you feel like what you can share is already answered by the person before you
Many Thanks in advance !
Well, Inspector Harry Callaghan (Clint Eastwood) justified his choice of the .357 Magnum as his weapon of choice by saying he’d “…seen a .45 round glance off a car windshield” (Magnum Force)…
I’ve spoken without being prepared before now, mainly in response to scripted presentations that I’ve formulated objections to; but this was in a context where I was wholly engaged with the subjects under discussion, and not just at that conference but for weeks or months before.
Equally, I’ve had prepared presentations that have fallen apart seconds before delivery because the person introducing me as speaker has inadvertently stolen all my best bits and used them themselves in the introduction!
As for story telling here a tip I learned during a management course. Collect your stories. Something interesting happened? Write it done, rework it to a story and practise that story. If you have a little bank of these stories it will be easier in the moment to bring one out and since you have practised it you already know what to say.
To address the imposter syndrome, from the same course, is the concept of owning the right to say what you say. If you speak about a personal experience, no person in the world knows that thing better than you, so you always 100% own that topic. Where if you want to make a general statement on testing you better have a solid foundation, like researched the topic for 15 years to own the right to that statement. The main advantages of this idea is that if you only claim things that you have the right to claim no one is better qualified to answer any questions that arise than you.
Having both done the represent something to which I do not own the right to vs. something I do it makes a huge difference for my confidence if I know no one is better qualified than I am to speak about it and answer any question that can come. As a bonus game you can also apply this to the other speakers and see that there are a lot of people who makes statements that they do not own the right to make.