Surviving Sheffield

Saturday saw a major milestone for me: I managed to get myself accepted to speak at the prestigious conference SteelCon in the steel city. I delivered a talk that had previously been delivered at the Scottish conference SecuriTay in February, a talk that was written in four days so a bit “rough around the edges”.


This time, had several months to prepare for the hour long talk. I’ve done some recommendations in the past about how to prepare for a conference talk, and essentially what I can pass on (and I got from other speakers ahead of SteelCon) is that if you prepare enough, have enough content that you know that you can use to fill your time and you’re satisfied will address the point that you originally submitted, then you should be able to relax into the talk you’ve prepared and deliver it with style.


Well I say “should be”, yes I was nervous to the point that I barely slept the previous night and found myself up against two respected speakers – one of whom reportedly gave a ground-breaking talk. However I delivered it, most people didn’t walk out (I just assuime that anyone who did were off to get a guaranteed seat for Ken Munro!)


What advice can I pass on having delivered at 2 major security conferences in six months? Well research and prepare and research some more, get the content you need to deliver your point and fill the time you are allotted. Yes it’s very daunting to speak somewhere, but the audience have a choice and if they chose you, they are on your side. As I said to someone, this isn’t the Education Secretary speaking at the NUT conference!


So if you have an idea, write it up and submit it. There’s enough trusted people around who will tell you what works and what doesn’t, and don’t lose heart upon a rejection.


I’ll take on board the comments I got afterwards, go and edit this and hopefully I’ll be speaking on the glory of ransomware some time soon.