This past Saturday I gave my first keynote at the eighth Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 8x), and I was pretty pleased with the results. Informal survey says I crushed it, but you can take a look yourself below. (Part 1 and Part 2)
Overall, the keynote went great. No real glitches and I survived the big laughs when the “security updates available” alert went off on my laptop when I was talking about security. I meant to be both ahead of the length of time involved and to talk more slowly. Not sure how except to cut words while conveying more. (Certainly the parts about SELinux could have been about 3 min. shorter, for example.)
I was very proud to have my family there in the audience, too. Now they know I’m not totally nuts.
There is a break in the middle between the two parts where a few minutes of video was lost. Mainly I was talking about stuff you can read here:
My wife requested more visuals in the presentation. I realize this stripped down style works for me, but not for people who want to make a visual connection with the spoken word. For example, when I’m talking about Prince St. in Boston, having a nice shot of Prince St. on the screen would help convey the story better. This all requires me to have more practice in giving the talk so I don’t mix up the order of stories.
Regardless, I am going to do some improvement to this presentation because I’d like to give it again, and I think some others would as well. The OpenOffice.org source and a PDF with notes are both available, all of it is under the CC BY SA 3.0 except the image of the resonant pendulum from exploratorium.edu (Red Hat got permission to use that image; I’m looking for a free content replacement or I’ll have to make a special trip to shoot my own.)
Preparing for the talk and during giving it, I found myself being newly aware of diversity and inclusivity issues. I heard in comments from multiple directions that people appreciated my recognition of the value of people who participate quietly, and that their silence isn’t only shyness. Often there are very legitimate reasons someone does not feel enabled to speak up, and due to the nature of the situation, some of us may not be able to even know or understand that. There were still a few parts where I saw my language lacking, e.g. usage of the ubiquitous and excluding “you guys”, but overall I was much happier with my talk than many, many others I have sadly witnessed.
Being charming and funny is all good, but not at the expense of 66% of your current and future audience. Meaning, when you offend a large group (e.g. women) and their supporters (e.g. sensible men), you approach 66% of the audience who are or should be turned-off by you. (There will always be some of the offended group who don’t see the privileged behavior as bad, and many in the non-offending group who also see no problem.)
Since the success of free and open projects is related to the quantity and quality of contributors, and since contributors arise from participants who arise from the 80%+ who are just consumers … well, we need about 100+ new people to generate three to five contributors. It doesn’t make sense to continue excluding huge swathes of humanity, especially for the sake of vanity and way old school thinking.