Talk Tech and Keep Your Audience Awake

Talk Tech and Keep Your Audience Awake is a one-day on-site workshop led by two best selling authors and experienced speakers: Andrei Alexandrescu and Sherry Sontag. It is offered at the Gaylord Rockies from 09:00 to 18:00 Aurora time (MDT) on Sunday, September 15th, 2024 (immediately prior to the conference). Lunch is included.

Course Description

A good technical talk is as much about storytelling as it is about presenting information. At best, it is a shared experience between speaker and audience. Even the most complex topics can be presented simply and clearly, sparking questions, conversation, and perhaps even some argument. When this is done well, a good talk becomes a great one and leaves everyone, including the speakers, with more: more understanding, more curiosity, more interest.

We will help you discover small tweaks to your presentation that can make a huge difference. Learn how to add context and clarity to your talks; how much detail is enough; how to craft simple and effective slides; how to be truly comfortable on stage and engage your audience; and how to cope with the unexpected.

You will have the chance to present your own work, learning from both other participants as well as your instructors. Sherry and Andrei will give you valuable feedback and will share their insights and experiences, including the hiccups and disasters that have made them better speakers. This talk is geared for presenters at CppCon, and if there is space available, anyone aspiring to be one.

Sherry will also hold “office hours” on Zoom a couple of hours a week during the four weeks leading up to CppCon for anyone interested in early direction.


The most important prerequisite is a desire to improve your technical presentation skills. You’ll have a chance to present twice: first, the beginning of your upcoming CppCon talk, and later, any 15-minute segment of your choice.

Andrei Alexandrescu Andrei Alexandrescu wrote three best-selling books on programming (Modern C++ Design, C++ Coding Standards, and The D Programming Language) and numerous articles and papers on wide-ranging topics. His signature speaking style, which combines complex information with spontaneous interaction and wit, made him a popular speaker at conferences around the world, in spite of (or some may say, in part because of) his thick Romanian accent.
Sherry Sontag Sherry Sontag joined Bloomberg’s Technology Infrastructure team after co-authoring The New York Times‘ bestseller Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage. She has been featured on 60 Minutes, National Public Radio (NPR), and The HISTORY Channel, and has given scores of talks, most recently at CppCon, ACCU, C++Now, and at Bloomberg Engineering’s department-wide internal conferences.

Sherry has been leading writing and presentation workshops for a decade and coaches a monthly talk series at Bloomberg. She believes that we tell our best stories to our best friends. On stage, she is always just talking to her dad.