How to handle Talk Interruptions

How to Handle Interruptions During Your Talk

Maybe this has happened to you. You take the stage. The slides are peeped and displayed. Your talk starts. The nervousness subsides and you’re getting into a good flow. Then, when you’re finally comfortable, someone just has to interrupt you. This has happened to me more times than I can count. It even happened recently, when someone in the crowd felt the need to correct me on the duration of a construction project. So what do you do? What’s the best way to handle interruptions? Let’s take a look.

What I Learned from Asking, “How did you build that?”

Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed dozens of people, asking a pointed question: “How did you build that?” In that time I learned common tools, business decisions, and generosity. Recently I gave a talk where I went through the most important lessons I learned, and some tools to get the job done.

Why Open Source is so Important

This is the transcript I gave for the above talk. View the slides here.

Have you ever been on Spaceship Earth in Disney World? It’s “The Golf Ball” in Epcot Center and it’s one of my favorite rides on the property. If you haven’t, Spaceship Earth is not some crazy thrill ride like a roller coaster you’d find at Dorney Park. It’s a journey through the history of Earth; specifically how we communicate.

I’m Speaking at WordCamp Baltimore!

The last WordCamp I went to was WordCamp Chicago in June, with it rounding out a big tour that started in January to promote my book, Responsive Design with WordPress. While I took a much needed break (and started a new job thanks in part to that trip), I’m really excited to announce that I’ll be speaking on the topic at WordCamp Baltimore.

Photo by Charlene Hubenthal

Why I Reuse Talks

Recently at one of the many WordCamps I’ve attended this year, the topic of reusing talks came up. It’s no secret I’ve been reusing my Responsive Design and WordPress talk at several events (not just WordCamps) but during the discussion a few folks mentioned that they will only give a talk once or twice, and there was a very strong opinion that you should never reuse a talk. I think that’s plain wrong, and here’s why.

I’m Speaking about WordPress on Saturday in Scranton!

Come on down to the Vintage Theater at 9am Saturday to see me speak about the basics of WordPress! My talk is part of a 24 Hour bonanza that’s going on from Friday at 9pm to Saturday at 9pm. I will include art, music, movies, tech, and more! The Vintage Theater is located at 326 Spruce Street, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503. As for my talk…

I will go through the basics of setting up a WordPress site (hosted and self-hosted), familiarizing yourself with the admin panel, choosing themes, installing plugins, and more.

Come on down for a great time. Bring your WordPress questions!

As an added bonus, I’ll be sporting Google Glass.


My Slides from PABUG 2012

Here you go! My slides from my talk, “Using PHP to Create a Web-­Based Mobile Banner Application” from @PA_BUG are available for download (links to my Public Dropbox folder). There is also a link to our current mobile app.  Thanks to everyone who came out, and to PABUG for having me!

If you have any questions or comments/please email me at