Becoming a speaker, with a little help from friends

Becoming a speaker, with a little help from friends

Have you ever thought about becoming a public speaker and presenting a topic close to your heart at a professional conference like Agile Testing Days ... but never pursued it? If yes, have you reflected on why?
What was stopping you?

Maybe you feel like there are others who know so much more about that topic than you do, or that everything you want to say has already been said by someone else.

Perhaps you are afraid that you don’t have the necessary skills to present, that you will be too nervous when entering the stage, or that you won’t be able to create a good story or great slides.

Maybe you don’t even know where or how to start, what topic to choose or how to create an abstract that has a good chance to be accepted.

Or possibly you even tried and handed in a proposal but weren’t accepted and then never tried again.

Let me tell you a secret: you are not alone in having these kinds of concerns. A lot of successful public speakers had and still have them. For most people, public speaking is something completely new and challenging, something where we could use a little, or a lot of, help. The MASH (Mentor And Speaker Hub) Program is here to provide exactly that.


You have a unique story to tell

What if I told you that every single melody in music that can possibly exist has already been composed?
Given the finite possibility of notes and their arrangements, that’s very likely. And still, new songs are being played, new arrangements are being created, and well known and loved melodies are being rearranged in a completely different way.

Nobody ever told your story from your perspective. Nobody faced the same situation in the same context you did. Your special mix of experiences, skills, and knowledge is unique - and it might be exactly what someone wants or even needs to hear.


You have so much to gain

I’m convinced that everyone has something to share that will help others in their community. Of course, you can be an active part of your community without speaking, but becoming a speaker adds an extra dimension to your network.
Sharing your knowledge will add a lot to your own knowledge: Teaching others what you’ve learned is one of the most effective ways to learn and remember. Researching your chosen topic makes you dive deeper into the topic, and when presenting you have the chance for attendees to your session to chime in with details you haven’t found yourself.

Even if you already reached the deepest depths of expertise in your topic - distilling and summarizing it to a point where you can share it with others will also do wonders for your communication skills.

Public speaking is also a huge door opener to both communities and opportunities. The connections to people you make on your way can be very valuable for both your career and private life.

Last but not least, public speaking can be immensely satisfying. Nothing beats having someone tell you after your session that it has been very helpful and educational, or even changed the way they see or do something


You are not alone

Not convinced yet that you can do it too?
Starting something new is always challenging, especially when doing it alone.

This is where we come into play:

The MASH Program.

Our goal is to connect speakers with mentors to assist in preparing technical sessions and improving presentation skills. Which means we want to help you become a successful public speaker.


  • facilitate contact between new tech speakers and experienced mentors.
  • guide the mentoring process with our 10-step how-to program.
  • provide a stepping stone into the global community of speakers.
  • help you grow into your new role as speaker.

We are 100% volunteers and the MASH program is completely free and has a well-defined and well-structured program to guide and help mentors and mentees get the most out of the collaboration.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, if you struggle to get ideas, need help with applying for a conference, or just need some final feedback on your already finished talk. We are ready and excited to help you.

So if you consider becoming a public speaker, what do you think about getting some help from friends?
Go to our website and hit “Registration”.


Samuel Nitsche
ATD Keynote-Speaker and MASH Core-Member

About Samuel Nitsche


Samuel Nitsche is a curiosity-driven software developer who programs, learns and collaborates in the software trade since the early 2000s. He works as Senior Software Developer and trainer at Smart Enterprise Solutions GmbH. His main interest is on modern database development, automated testing and code quality, topics he writes regularly about on different platforms (e.g. his blog, Simple-Talk and several Oracle-related print magazines). He is an Oracle ACE, one of the main contributors and maintainers of utPLSQL ( and loves to share his experience in an entertaining way - gladly in Sith robes - at meetups and conferences.