Engage, Entertain, Educate: Technical Speaking that Works

“Engage, Entertain, Educate: Technical Speaking that Works” is a one-day workshop led by Andrei Alexandrescu, Kate Gregory, and Scott Meyers. It is offered at the Meydenbauer Conference Center from 9AM to 5PM on Sunday, September 23nd. Lunch is included.

Because participants are given class time to make short presentations, the number of participants is strictly limited!

Course Description

Successful technical talks require more than just mastery of the topic at hand. They also demand a strong stage presence, a memorable delivery, effective audience management, clear presentation materials, comfort with the environment (e.g., mics, stages, screens), and an ability to cope with the unexpected. This workshop, led by three of the most storied speakers in C++, lets you strut your stuff in several short presentations. After each, you’ll receive specific feedback on how your stuff-strutting can be improved.

For speakers at CppCon, the utility of the workshop should be obvious, but everybody giving (or aspiring to give) good technical presentations will benefit from this session.


The most important prerequisite is a desire to improve your technical presentation skills. You’ll be expected to prepare a few brief talk fragments prior to the workshop, to present them, and to accept feedback on them. You’ll also be expected to critically observe others’ talks with an eye towards identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

(Participants will receive details on what to prepare in August.)

Course Topics

The bulk of the workshop consists of small-group breakout sessions, each led by one of the instructors. In a breakout, each participant will give a short presentation and get comments on it. There will be three breakouts during the day, and each group will have a different instructor for each breakout. By the end of the day, each workshop participant will have presented for and received feedback from each workshop leader.

“Celebrity lightning talks” will follow the breakout sessions, whereby experienced presenters give short talks and field questions about how and why they did what they did and do what they do.

The focus of this workshop is on giving presentations, identifying what works well and what less well, and on practical approaches to improving all aspects of technical speaking.

Course Instructors

AndreiAlexandrescu Andrei Alexandrescu wrote three best-selling books on programming and numerous articles and papers on wide-ranging topics. His signature speaking style combining complex information with spontaneous interaction and wit made him a popular speaker at conferences worldwide, in spite (or some may say, in part because) of his thick Romanian accent.
Kate Gregory Kate Gregory has been using C++ since before Microsoft had a C++ compiler, and has been paid to program since 1979. She loves C++ and believes that software should make our lives easier. That includes making the lives of developers easier! She’ll stay up late arguing about deterministic destruction or how modern C++ is not the C++ you remember.
Scott Meyers Scott Meyers, best known for his “Effective” books (e.g., Effective C++ and Effective Modern C++), has nearly 30 years of experience speaking to audiences large and small, introductory and advanced, local and remote, and hostile and friendly. He was once asked to keep his attendees from laughing so loudly.