WordCamp Toronto 2011 - SpeakerOn November 5th, 2011 I gave my first WordCamp presentation at WordCamp Toronto.

While I have presented many times in the past to large groups, about 575 people was one of the largest, I had not spoken in front of more than 10-20 people for at least 6 years, so I was a bit nervous about it at first.

In the weeks before WordCamp I spent a lot of time developing the presentation and preparing slides. As usual, I learned some things I did not know as I confirmed details for the presentation. I’ve always found I learn when I am teaching, either from the preparation of content, or from the students or student questions at the presentation.

The first event for me was the speakers dinner on Friday night before WordCamp.  A great time was had meeting the other presenters and talking WordPress and a multitude of other things. (Oh, and the dinner was good too  😎 )

Next up was my presentation “Don’t: Just past this code in your functions.php” on Saturday morning. Because of the great supportive environment that seems to be prevalent at WordCamps, I was actually more relaxed by the time I was due to present on Saturday morning than I had been the entire week coming up to it.

I spent the rest of Saturday taking in the other presentations.  Saturday evening there was a social event where I met a lot more people who really know a lot about WordPress.  I also picked the brains of the Toronto WordPress Meetup organizers (Who also ran the WordCamp) to see if there were ideas and practices that could be used to ramp up the Ottawa WordPress Meetup group faster.

Sunday was a bit more relaxed with workshops.  I had planned to work on finalizing my slides for posting to slideshare during the first workshop  “WP Sandbox: Running WordPress on Your Local Machine”, but Alfred, who found out on Saturday that I also use XAMPP, asked me to join the workshop to help people install XAMPP.  It was great to help people out and I again learned a few things that have changed how I have done some of my presentations since then.

I had a great time at WordCamp and now that I have this first presentation out of the way, I am looking forward to speaking at the next WordCamp Toronto, and possibly Montreal too.