The fear of public speaking is the fear of looking stupid.
After learning about my stand-up background, most people ask me about hecklers. They are brutal, and yes, every stand-up has to learn how to deal with them.
But that’s stand-up comedy in a dodgy pub. Speaking at a tech conference is a very different game. You do not need to worry about hecklers.
The tech conference audience wants you to succeed. Think about it who is attending your talk. These people love tech so much, they’re giving up a weekend to watch you speak. They have chosen to sit down in this room because they want to hear what YOU have to say.
The audience is excited to see you, because you’re an expert. You’ve been tinkering on your talk for a very long time. You know more than all of us, and we want to hear what you’ve discovered. Only YOU can tell this story. Of course we want to listen, and we want you to have a great time.
In the extremely unlikely event that a heckler appears, they will be asked to leave the conference. Unkindness is not tolerated. We’ve got your back, don’t worry.
In stand-up, I would get offended by hecklers. Honestly, it’s taken a long time to not feel offended. I think my comedy teacher put it best: People want you to succeed. The ones that don’t have problems. Don’t make their problems yours.