Over the past year, I've taken part in a number of lightning talks through the 300 Seconds group. They've helped me in ways I wasn't expecting. My main intention back in November was to start sharing more things I had learnt to a wider audience than just the people sat around me daily. Speaking for just 5 minutes seemed like it would be easy, but once I got down to thinking about how to do... well, turns out it is more of a challenge than you think. And that is where I've gained the most by doing it a few times.

UXBrighton Lightning Edition 11 November 2015

After speaking to the great team behind UXBrighton, I am hosting a special edition of this community event here at 68 Middle Street; our home.

You can find more about how to submit your own 5 minute talk and how the evening works here http://uxbrighton.org.uk/lightning-edition/.

Have one point and make it a really good one

The first time I wanted to create a scatterbrained amble through the thought process behind progressive enhancement, and I don't think I did too bad a job, but trying to fit as many things into that short time was hard, and some things had room to breath whilst others got glossed over.

Focus on your delivery

After I watched back the presentation and thought about what it was I wanted to get across, I was determined to do it again. Another opportunity arose at TalkUX in Manchester.

By the time the event came around I had been on a project for the most part of the year which had a fortnightly playback session with a group of C-Suite members. Whilst the first few were of course fine, I was always wondering how long I could really keep the attention of the people in the room.

I spoke to Lily Dart, one of the co-founders of 300 Seconds, who gave me some fantastic advice - only talk about one thing - not many. This is such an important point too, regardless of the duration between meetings, and you're bound to have many things to discuss, pick the most important one and deliver it the best you can.

My presentation skills have had a huge jump in the past year thanks to taking on the challenge of these lightning talks, and I encourage you to try it yourself. It has really helped with my ability to communicate not just at public talks, but during those all too important meetings with your clients and even with my colleagues.

Want to know more about effective communication?

Whether you would like to become more involved in the industry speaking circuit, want to improve your client presentations or, be able to share your ideas with colleagues better, come and take part in the UXBrighton Lightning Edition and share your ideas with me via this Google Form.