Heather Tovey is a passionate developer and co-founder of NerdLab YYC in Calgary, Canada. In recent years, Heather has merged her love of technology and teaching through giving talks about, among other things, learning how to learn. One of the most common paths to public speaking is through teaching, and not necessarily in a traditional classroom. As was the case in Heather’s experience, any time you impart knowledge to someone else—or to a group of people—you are teaching, and often times, this leads to speaking in front of increasingly large audiences.
Learning How to Learn
Heather found her niche in her unique presentation style, in which she provides her audience with different resources, takeaways, and even quizzes that can be used to figure out their own learning style. For Heather, this path began back in high school, where she successfully tutored football players by presenting traditional material in non-traditional ways. This sparked a belief in Heather that anyone can learn anything, as long as they can figure out how to learn.
Getting Past the Nerves
A self-described introvert, Heather definitely gets nervous speaking in front of people, but she overcomes this with a strong conviction that she is helping every person in her audience by empowering them to learn new things. When preparing for a talk, Heather thinks about her process and compares it to that of others. She asks herself what works for others, and how she could incorporate those things into her talks. In this and many other ways, Heather found the book Present! to be particularly helpful.
“Never has there been a one-stop shop for all these different interesting tidbits. Not only that, the book also has lots of real-life examples that are helpful. Seeing all that combined helps bring everything together. At the end are the activity sections, which I can come back to again and again.” – Heather Tovey
Since she resides in a rather small, tight-knit community, Heather feels it is important to “get her name out there,” and does so through speaking engagements. Still, she feels like an online community built around the book Present! might be very helpful for sharing ideas and techniques, especially for those who have not yet built an extensive real-life network.