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Be a Better Speaker: Learn to Sketchnote

Be a Better Speaker: Learn to Sketchnote

We all know that public speaking helps with personal and professional growth. But public speaking can bring its own share of challenges. How do you pick a topic? How do you apply to a CFP (and increase the chances of being accepted)? And most importantly – how do you then craft the talk for diverse audiences, talk times and topics? In this talk I’ll share my perspectives on how sketch-noting has helped me become a better speaker, and how it can help you jumpstart a speaking career, or add new tools to your speaker toolkit if you are already an experienced presenter.


Nitya Narasimhan, PhD

May 08, 2019


  1. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Be a Better Speaker

    Learn to Sketchnote Nitya Narasimhan, PhD https://talks.nityan.me
  2. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Credit: Unsplash ABOUT ME PhD & Polyglot

    Researcher & Developer Community & Conf Org Mom & DevRel @Microsoft Passionate about translating tech awareness into actionable learning
  3. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya How many of you fear public speaking?

  4. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Image Credit: Washington Post / Oct 2014

    You’re not alone! 25-80% agree.. Glossophobia Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking.[1] The word glossophobia derives from the Greek γλῶσσα glōssa, meaning tongue, and φόβος phobos, fear or dread. Wikipedia / May 2019
  5. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Why Are we afraid? Physiology We feel

    threatened Psychology We feel unworthy Context We feel unsure
  6. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya That’s easy for you to say No.

    I’m just like you Check out my heart rate when I get on stage at a conference .. Yes, It’s scary. Yes, You can do it! Yes, It feels amazing after!
  7. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Why What How Icons

    Credit: Noun Project
  8. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Why do public speaking?

  9. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Do it for you Professional Growth Image

    Credit: WOCInTechChat • Visible Achievement • Clarity Of Thought • Knowledge Transfer
  10. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Do it for us Representation Matters Image

    Credit: Unsplash / @ethicaleffort • Visible Role Models • Diversity Of Thought • Authentic Stories
  11. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya How do I get started? #GDCFPDay Find

    a conference or meetup in your topic. Submit a CFP proposal
  12. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Audience Think Reviewer, Not

    Attendee Applicability Does it meet conference guidelines? Authenticity Does your unique voice come through? Assiduity Submit once. Submit often. Revise & Recycle. Abstract Less is more. Retain flexibility. #MakeTheTalkHappen Icons Credit: Noun Project
  13. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya But why sketchnote? A picture is worth

    a thousand words.. Icons Credit: Noun Project
  14. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Clarify Your thinking Construct Your workflow Icons

    Credit: Noun Project Before During After
  15. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Build Your brand Distill For Brevity Icons

    Credit: Noun Project Before During After
  16. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Unleash Your creativity Improve Your recall Icons

    Credit: Noun Project Before During After
  17. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Let’s Look at Some Examples..

  18. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Book Reviews

  19. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Conference Live Tweets

  20. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Course Recaps

  21. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Technology Learning

  22. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya When timing What content

    How tools Icons Credit: Noun Project Tips & Tricks for Getting Started ..
  23. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Fonts Change up size/type to create interest,

    focus Use font types to create interest Italics, Bold, 2D/3D Use size to create focus Heading vs. subtext
  24. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Navigation Provide easy guidance within space constraint

    Use Signposts & paths For whimsy and direction Use Spacing and Borders To plan for future content, create clarity
  25. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Colors Can be done later. Bring the

    sketch to life Highlight connections Similar colors for similar topics Shading for Focus Create separations between topics
  26. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Icons Invoke familiar symbols for clarity Plan

    for adding in later Spacing for symbols Make cheat sheets for speed Frequently used symbols for context
  27. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Quotes Listen for the signature statement or

  28. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Personal What makes your voice or perspective

  29. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Practice Doodle everything, have fun, keep a

    journal ..
  30. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Summary Speak. Sketch. Share.

  31. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Thank You! Twitter | @nitya Discussion |

    #bitsofbuild Slides | https://aka.ms/bitsofbuild-2019-sketchnote
  32. #BitsOfBuild / @nitya #BitsOfBuild / @nitya Be a Better Speaker

    Learn to Sketchnote Nitya Narasimhan, PhD https://talks.nityan.me Emojis from Emojipedia Art from Unsplash, Nitya Fonts from Google Fonts Icons from NounProject (Pro) Additional attributions in notes, slides