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Tech Lead Journal

116 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#111 - Teach the Geek to Speak: Public Speaking for Technical Professionals - Neil Thompson

“The people who are the communicators are the ones visible within companies. Just being technically proficient is not enough. You have to be an advocate for yourself."

Neil Thompson is the founder of Teach the Geek and a public speaking coach. In this episode, Neil explained the importance of public speaking for technical professionals. Neil shared tips and advice on we can start and improve our public speaking skills. We also discussed some common challenges when speaking publicly and tips on how to overcome them. Towards the end, Neil shared more tips on storytelling, presenting data, doing virtual presentation, and presenting at large events.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:06:43]
  • Importance of Public Speaking - [00:10:25]
  • Tips to Start Public Speaking - [00:11:52]
  • Challenge 1: Lack of Confidence - [00:14:44]
  • Challenge 2: Lack of Expertise - [00:16:27]
  • Challenge 3: Language Barrier - [00:17:59]
  • Challenge 4: Past Trauma - [00:19:36]
  • Filler Words - [00:20:52]
  • Maintaining Eye Contacts - [00:22:36]
  • Recording Video - [00:24:28]
  • Body Language - [00:25:33]
  • Getting Feedback - [00:26:44]
  • Storytelling - [00:27:52]
  • Presenting Data - [00:29:22]
  • Managing Presentation Time - [00:30:33]
  • Virtual Presentation - [00:31:48]
  • Conference and Big Events - [00:32:37]
  • Practising and Opportunities - [00:34:06]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:36:32]


Neil Thompson’s Bio
After one too many failed presentations, Neil Thompson, an engineer, knew he had to improve. He did so, and now he works with technical professionals like himself to improve their communication skills. He hosts the Teach the Geek podcast, interviewing technical professionals about their public speaking journeys. He is also author of the book, Teach the Geek to Speak: a No-fluff Public Speaking Guide for STEM Professionals.

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