Bart Van de Wiele is a worldwide public speaker covering a variety of subjects and technologies. He is also a LinkedIn courses author, and a Principal Solutions Consultant at Adobe, as well as one of the speakers at the Present to Succeed conference.

In this episode, we talk about becoming a public speaker, how to prepare your session and application for conferences, and how to deliver it in the best possible way.

Becoming a public speaker

According to Bart, people often have two fears regarding conference speaking. First, they think that they do not know enough to be on that stage, which is not true in most cases. The second is the fear of public speaking itself. “There is no need to have any self-doubt when it comes to public speaking,” he says, as anything can be used as an ice breaker because then the nervousness is gone. You are 100% yourself afterward and it feels like there are only five people in the room, even if there are six hundred. Also, if you are passionate about a topic, it usually starts to tell itself. Bart has started by pushing himself and encourages everyone thinking about it, to go for it.

Preparing your session and application

Before all, when you want to become a speaker, you must learn what any conference needs. You need to apply knowing how it is organized and what its goals are. Mostly, it is to drive the largest audience possible, and your session is going to help make that happen.

Your session’s description should be the essence of what will be learned what is the value of it to be gained. “Don’t sell a bed, sell a goodnight’s sleep,” he says. And what you promise in it you have to deliver, just like a band is expected to play every single song on the track list for a concert.

Delivering in the best possible way

Bart urges us to not worry too much about being nervous or perfect because nobody truly is. And he adds that being a conference speaker is the way to go if you want to grow. For delivery, he emphasizes that timing is very important and that it is quite easy to overprepare. Usually, it is easy when delivering to try to push everything in the same timeframe, but if the content is too much it becomes way too fast for the audience. If necessary, cut, as it is better to have good value and a good pace.

The main things he gives as tips are to not overprepare, overdeliver, and that planning your timing is very important. He also advises that when you have demo materials you should always have a separate document with the finished version already. It is a good thing to cut, if needed and not go overtime in your session.


You can contact Bart on his website, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Listen to the full episode!