More on Style Guides

Last week I journeyed back to the frozen tundra that Minnesota can be at this time of year (and yes, it delivered on the cold) to do a Primer at my work headquarters on Style Guides. This all came about because of the blog post I did in early February on the same topic. That post found its way to the right people at the office and next thing I knew I was being asked to speak about them. I have to say that I said yes, but it made me quite nervous even thinking about it.

I’ve never spoken on the topic of code and in reality I’ve never really done a lot of speaking at all. I typically don’t do well in front of people, but because the Primer was a webinar, there was only going to be one person in the room with me, which calmed my nerves a bit. In the past when I’ve done any type of speaking it has been because I was required to for a high school or college course. I always dreaded it, my voice always got the nervous waver in it while I was speaking, and I couldn’t wait to be done so I spoke way too fast.

Last week, all my ideas of speaking changed. I had done quite a bit of preparation for the talk and the marketing folks cleaned up and made the slides look good, which was incredibly helpful. All I had to worry about was the content. We also did a dry run with internal people, which was helpful for me, it meant I got to practice it in front of some people without the worry of having to be perfect. When it came time to do the first one live (we repeated it two days later), I was ready and relaxed and enjoyed myself a lot. It helped quite a bit to have such a fantastic partner in it all.

What I found out is that I love talking about the web and talking about the bits and pieces of it that I work on. That makes a huge difference to how I feel speaking about it. I had a ball, I loved being challenged by the audience questions, I enjoyed joking with my partner in crime, and I really loved talking about a topic that is becoming a passion for me.

So, if you missed it and want to learn more about what I think about style guides, the second version did get recorded and you can watch it. I know I have things to learn about speaking, but I also know that I am ready to do it again (maybe even with an in person audience) and will be slowly putting out feelers for places that are appropriate for me to share my knowledge.