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Our Podcast

We interview people in the Developer Relations universe and listen to their perspectives and insights.

Jono Bacon

Public speaking consultant Jono Bacon is on a mission to help companies create strong communities, and in this Fireside Chat with Richard, he shares his own golden rules for building brilliant communities.

jonobacon jonobacon.com

Jono Bacon is a heavy metal guitarist who once played in the place where Iron Maiden played their first gig. He’s also a public speaker, a consultant and the author of books about building communities. His mission is to help companies create successful communities. In this Fireside Chat with Richard, which crackled with dynamism and cool vibes, Jono talked about the value of building a brilliant community around yourself as a speaker – it’s not egotistical at all. He also outlined how to package your message in a way that audiences can understand.

Jono Bacon Interview

April Dunford

In this week’s podcast, positioning expert April Dunford tells Richard how she uses cake to explain why positioning is vital for business success.

aprildunford aprildunford.com

April Dunford is a positioning consultant. In plain English, that means she tells companies where their brand belongs in the market and what customers they should target. Her knowledge comes from 25 years of experience running tech startups and working for global tech giants. She is the author of a brilliant book on positioning called Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Positioning So Your Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It. In her podcast chat with Richard, April tells Richard how she uses cake to help people understand the power of positioning. She also reveals how taking on a ton of conference speaking engagements helped her sell a ton of books and win new clients for her business.

April Dunford Interview

Russ Miles

Listen in on this week's podcast to hear our guest Russ Miles talk about engaging your audience with stories and weaving a guitar into his talks.

russmiles russmiles.com

Russ Miles is a tech and microservices whizz who can define chaos engineering in ninety seconds. He is an international keynote speaker at tech conferences and he is CEO of ChaosIQ, which builds commercial and open source software for companies that are engaged in chaos engineering. In a lively Fireside Chat with Richard, Russ revealed how he taps into the power of story to captivate his audience. He believes that we learn with our brains, and our brains love stories. When a speaker tells a story, your brain gives you the feeling that you are in that story. That’s why storytelling is so engaging for audiences.Anyone who has heard Russ Miles speak will know that he likes to break out the guitar and sing his talks, to tunes by ACDC and other rock bands. He told Richard how he began playing his guitar as a way of calming his pre-talk nerves, and how he weaves his guitar playing seamlessly into his talks.

Russ Miles Interview

David Gonzalez

David Gonzalez, DevOps engineer, lecturer, and public speaker, tells wannabe speakers to just go and do it, and if it hurts, do it more.

dagonzago dgonzalez manakau.ie

David Gonzalez is a dynamo, a DevOps engineer, lecturer and public speaker who’s not afraid to take risks during his talks. His attitude is, if it hurts, do it more, and he encourages aspiring speakers to just go and do it – and if it hurts, do it more. He also talks about the challenges of speaking in your second language, and how he pulls off live coding demos on stage.

David Gonzalez Interview

Jock Busuttil

Jock Busuttil reveals how he turned his flair for product management into a speaking career, and how he set up a home studio for live streaming using an old television.

jockbu jockbusuttil.com

Jock Busuttil is a product manager who believes that if there was more common sense in the world, there would be no need for product managers! This blend of honesty and humour was a feature of his Fireside Chat with Richard. Jock gives an insight into the world of a product manager and shares how he turned his product management experience into a successful speaking career. He also tells Richard how he set up his home studio following the COVID lockdown, with a couple of lights, a camera – and an old television!

Jock Busuttil Interview

Lauren Currie

Lauren Currie is an award-winning European designer who is a champion for diversity. She has received an OBE for her initiatives to achieve diversity through design. As a regular public speaker on the subject of design, she’s also passionate about bringing diversity to the speaker line-up at conferences

_laurencurrie_ laurencurrie.co

In our podcast, she reveals how a bright red sofa has helped reduce the nerves of more than 500 wannabe speakers. It’s a simple concept – people who are nervous about public speaking can apply to sit on a red sofa during conferences. There’s no pressure on them to speak or perform – they just sit there. And it completely changes their attitude to public speaking. Lauren shared her passion for bringing new voices to the conference stage – more women, more people with disabilities, and more people of colour. She dreams of a day when a conference speaker line-up reflects the diversity of the audience watching. And the red chair is just one way she’s making that happen.

Lauren Currie Interview

Andrew Macadam

in this episode Richard and Andrew Macadam discuss that awful moment as a public speaker when your mind goes completely blank!

andrew73 in/andrewmacadam

In this episode, Richard speaks with Andrew Macadam. Andrew is currently the Managing Director for startups in Western Europe at Microsoft. He has also held a myriad of other roles, including being an Evangelist, which at Microsoft means you go out and get people excited about new technologies. Throughout Andrews diverse roles he has experienced a lot of public speaking. He discusses with Richard that terrible moment most public speakers encounter when their minds go completely blank and how strange it is to realize that the audience doesn’t notice because they interpret that pause as time to think. They discuss the adrenaline rush you experience right before speaking and how your body goes into a serious flight or fight mode. They also delve into what it’s like speaking with different accents and how you have to keep this in mind when performing to different audiences.

Andrew Macadam Interview

Pat Dwyer

In this episode Richard interviews Pat Dwyer and discusses his fascinating career transition from improv comedian to professional keynote speaker.

IKnowPatDwyer patdwyerwastaken.com

Pat Dwyer is an award-winning improv comedian who is also a professional public speaker and facilitator. Earlier in his career, Pat moved to Chicago, where he worked and toured with the world-famous Second City Theater and iO Theater, among others. Now, in his speaking and facilitating roles, he works with organizations to show them how laughter and comedy can improve a company’s profit, culture and daily interactions. In this episode, Pat talks to Richard about how, in improv comedy, you have to accept that you will ‘bomb’ a little bit every single time! He describes his impulse reaction of nervously talking way too much when panic sets in. He also describes his career journey from teaching English in Mauritania, West Africa while serving in the United States Peace Corp., to what launched his improv comedy career, and how all of this eventually led to his career right now facilitating public speaking programs that he designs personally. Pat describes how he’s always wanted to help people and that this has heavily impacted the trajectory his career has followed. He also describes touring to different colleges during his improv comedy career, which taught him about the importance of connecting with the audience. He uses this in his current career as a professional keynote speaker.

Pat Dwyer Interview

Oisín Lunny

In this episode Richard interviews Oisin Lunny, a professional public speaker, master of ceremonies (MC), radio presenter and journalist.

oisinlunny oisinlunny.com

Oisín Lunny is a professional public speaker, master of ceremonies (MC), radio presenter and journalist. He has hosted and moderated events and given keynote presentations at over 200 conferences worldwide, including TEDx, MWC and SXSW. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and is music editor for ‘The Phoenix’ magazine. In this episode, Oisín talks to Richard about how his early PR career led him to public speaking and his ‘aha moment’, when he realized that speaking with authenticity and passion can make even a seemingly insignificant speech great. He also explains why stepping outside your comfort zone can be a brilliant way to learn; being put on the spot can sometimes lead to great creativity. Being an MC has become a big part of Oisín’s public speaking career and life in general. Oisín shares with Richard his first MC experience—at a music festival—and the positive things he learned from the experience. He also shares his secret to remembering hundreds of people’s names: good old-fashioned printed notes!

Oisín Lunny Interview

Oscar Santolalla

In this episode Richard interviews Oscar Santolalla, a fellow public speaking professional with his own public speaking podcast titled 'Time to Shine'!

osantolalla rockthetechstage.com

Oscar Santolalla has been working in the tech sector for over 10 years. He is currently a sales engineer at Ubisecure. A Peruvian living in Helsinki, Finland, Oscar hosts his own public speaking podcast titled ‘Time to Shine’. He has also authored the book Create and Deliver a Killer Product Demo. In this episode, Oscar explains how Toastmasters changed his life by allowing him to practice his public speaking in English and to experiment with different topics to engaged audiences that gave honest feedback. He also discusses how his public speaking career was born when he became a lecturer in telecommunications and information security in Peru. He discusses with Richard the difference between being a lecturer and being a conference speaker, and how—surprisingly—lecturing can be substantially harder. He also imparts the advice that when presenting your speech, it is important to not hide behind too much content or too many slides; simple is always better.

Oscar Santolalla Interview

Dylan Schiemann

In this episode Richard interviews Dylan Schiemann, the founder of DojoToolkit and an early adopter and proponent of JavaScript and Open Source web technology.

dylans livingspec.com

Dylan Schiemann is a professional conference speaker and the founder of Dojo Toolkit. He is one of those lucky human beings who does not get nervous before talks! He attributes this confidence to his early speaking experiences, which he tells us about in this episode. Dylan also explains what conference talks, sales discussions and venture capital pitches have in common, and tells us how his own impressive conference talks have helped the success of Dojo Toolkit. He discusses why a speaker's ability to read and adjust to different audiences is key to a successful talk, and why he personally likes to give either one of the first or one of the last talks at a conference. He also touches on why community is so important to him, and how this led him to start his Javascript meetup, HalfStack, which he still runs today.

Dylan Schiemann Interview

Tanya Butenko

In this episode, Richard speaks to Tanya Butenko, founder of NodeGirls, an organization for women and other gender minorities in the tech world.

ButenkoMe musescodejs.org

In this episode, Richard speaks to Tanya Butenko, founder of NodeGirls, an organization for women and other gender minorities in the tech world. Tanya is a native Ukrainian who now lives in Australia. She delves into the story of one of her first presentations. The topic of that presentation was a personal one that made her extremely emotional. She discusses why this topic was a bad choice for her first experience, not least because she did not have the strength to control her emotions on stage. Tanya also describes what it was like to begin coding later in life, and what her first experiences in coding were like, especially live coding presentations. Lastly, she emphasizes the importance as a speaker of picking conferences that chime with your personal ethical values, and conferences where you are going to have fun.

Tanya Butenko Interview

Debbie Forster

Richard speaks to Debbie Forster about her fascinating career and the Tech Talent Charter, a pledge companies can take dedicated to diversity.

techtalentcharter.co.uk debbieforster

In this episode, Richard sits down with Debbie Forster, CEO of the Tech Talent Charter. Debbie is an American who has lived in England for over 30 years. Her fascinating career is full of twists and turns, from being a head teacher to her current high-profile role. She tells Richard about her eventful journey, and explains how all her experiences have influenced her public speaking and have helped her create her career. Debbie gives us her insights into why it’s important to always bring yourself into your performance, and how to deal with and learn from negative speaking experiences. She goes through an interesting history of diversity (or lack of it) in tech and explains why transparency around this issue is so important. All of this ties in with the Tech Talent Charter, a UK-based initiative that drives organizations to commit a set of undertakings that aim to deliver greater diversity in the tech workforce (Voxgig has taken the pledge, as have many other tech companies).

Debbie Forster Interview