My talk at Google HQ, on Confessions

I wrote a few weeks ago about how my talk at Google about Confessions was the toughest room I’d had all year (with photos, and countermoves). The room was adjacent to a noisy cafeteria,at lunchtime, and an exposed busy hallway of folks on their way to and from the cafeteria: bad news all around.

The funny thing is, video is flat. It evens out the highs and lows, and the audio track isn’t mixed: there’s only what you hear through my mike. If I didn’t tell you, you’d never know how tough that room was, and how much of an impact the background noise had on me, and the vibe in the crowd.

Below is a picture I took of the reverse view, where you can see the cafe behind, and the hallway on the left, 10 minutes before the talk began.


Well enough whining. I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t show videos of talks I didn’t enjoy. So for your curiosity, here’s the video of the talk. The Q&A, which is better, starts at 34:00.

9 Responses to “My talk at Google HQ, on Confessions”

  1. Mike Hurley

    Watched the whole thing. I really enjoyed it. I am reading the Project Management book now. I think your style is very engaging and genuine. The Q&A rings true.



  2. Scott Berkun

    Thanks Mike – The more I’ve thought about this particular talk, the more I think it was the 3 way combo of no lapel mike, noisy room and being videotaped that made it a tough ride for me. 2 out of 3 and I’d have been within my range of staying cool and collected, but all 3, without anticipating/expecting all 3, was more than I could handle.

    But as I talk about in the book, it’s experiences like these that teach more for the next time around. Next time I’m in a room next to a cafeteria, I’ll be able to say “aaah – I’ve done this before” :)

  3. James Dilworth

    An engaging talk Scott! – I’ll be using some of your tips for my next presentation! I wouldn’t even have noticed you were not on form if you hadn’t mentioned it.

  4. Sean

    Aw, Scott. Why speak in Mountain View when there are two perfectly good Google offices right here in your own back yard? Come visit us some time!

  5. Phil Simon

    Good stuff, Scott. I really like the way that you embed images into your PowerPoints and don’t just rely on 50 words. Images complement the words nicely.

  6. Thanh Luu

    Hi Scott:
    Your talk was very insightful. I’m actually taking an oral communication course called argumentation at the moment and similar points arised. I’m also taking 5 other courses, so you might probably know the work load. Is there a more effective way to practice your speech in shorter periods of time than persistantly verbal vomitting and rediting for hours? Thanks! -T



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