How do you find ideas/inspiration for meetups and conference talks?

I am curios as to how people find ideas for presentations on meetups and conferences?

Some of the stuff I would like to talk about was already done by someone else. I don’t have much experience in public speaking and such, only a few local meetups and internal company ones. I spoke at Free Code Camp Sarajevo meetup about freelancing a few years ago and it was very well received.

The second talk I tried was also at a local meetup (OpenWeb Sarajevo) it was okay, but, also kind of meh, I talked about 100DaysOfCode challenge, I guess it wasn’t that interesting for the listeners.

My third talk was at an internal company meetup, the HR did let me title my talk as “How NOT to Pass the ISTQB exam:crazy_face: so I wrote a blog with that title afterwards instead.

In the meantime I submitted a talk for a local Microsoft conference, it got accepted, but, as luck would have it the conference got rescheduled twice due to Corona. :sob:

Right now I’m trying to find ideas (time and will as well) to get back in the game and speak at some online meetups, preferably on testing relegated topics.

From what I’ve noticed, talking about topics derived from personal experience works best. On the personal side, that is my favourite kind of talks to listen to, in general. But I think you got to strike a balance between just ranting about personal opinions and such, and offer some beneficial advice to the audience.

I’d love to hear for others from the community about your speaking experiences, tips & tricks, etc.


Hi Mirza,

Let me share with you my story how I started with only 3 years and half experience in my first talk.



Hey Emna, reading this was truly encouraging, thanks a lot, you rock! :sunglasses:


Glad that you find it encouraging!
Don’t hesitate to ask of you need more details or orientations.
Happy to help

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That’s a very good question, curious myself.

One of the things that I look for in giving a talk/workshop in a meetup or evening session is rarity.
I’ve giving talks about: Mutation Testing, Model Based Testing, Testing of Machine Learning Models. These are things that are pretty rare in my environment and I personally think everybody should know more about it.

A cool concept/tips & tricks is also a nice thing to share, if you find a solution to something, a certain part within a framework, … . It doesn’t have to be a full talk, we have lightning talks & snack time’s also which last ~ 7 minutes.

I just hear stuff, google it and learn about it. Afterwards I try to share my findings.
I’m just very curious and it kind of helps me finding topics.

Looking forward to seeing other people’s answers!


I’ve presented on soft skill topics at two conferences.

When I first moved to Testing, I was intrigued at how social it is. But some team members don’t always see a Tester as part of a project team.
My presentations focused on team building, encouraging Testers to learn to read code, and demonstrating value not just in a testing phase (do those still exist?) but in design and development phases as well.



Hello Mirza.

I don’t have a big experience at public speaking (just local meetups, conferences in Ukraine, Wroclaw and TestCon Europe is my biggest one for now).

A good talk should be (in my opinion):

  • Based on personal experience (here you can e.g. substitute it by interviewing a lot of other engineers on some topic)
  • Useful for a big audience - as a code, cheat sheet, interview tips, etc.
  • Help to solve particular things
  • Presented in a professional way (optional in case of lack of experience)

First of all I write and contemplate a lot :slight_smile: When I have 3-4 blog posts on the same theme - that could be the start of a talk proposal.

Secondly I consider what can be told in written format as to compare with what can be told with visuals, stories, anecdotes in an engaging way. Most of a talk is entertainment, but there needs to be a story and an engagement. No one wants to listen to someone simple talking to himself.

Talk about a problem you had and how you overcame that. Or if you did something totally out of the ordinary. did you know you could …?


Oh boy, this thread just keep getting better and better, I love this community! :heart:


@mirza I also invite you to make a racket about this topic :slight_smile:
if someone else want to join DM me we can synchronize together! This topic is really inspiring and lots of ideas are there :slight_smile:

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@emna_ayadi I think that is a great idea :grin:

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Some ways to gather ideas for talks:

  • determine a topic to talk about it. If it has already been presented, then add your twist to it. For example I used juggling in two cases.
  • narrow down the topic.
  • talk about a subject on which you spent several months. An experience report with lessons learned can be an eye opener for someone else.
  • talk with peers about possible talks. Sometimes the things which are normal for me, are quite extraordinary for other people.
  • recycle rejected talks to blog posts, which in turn can lead to new ideas for other talks. It is about exploration.

Lots of great advice there, thanks mister Mindful Tester! :grinning:


My talks have been coming from 2 distinct sources:

  1. a topic I love (in my case: Exploratory Testing)
  2. a non-fiction book that I loved and then mapped to testing (Thinking, Fast and Slow & Bullshit Jobs)

That’s it, basically :joy:


That :poop: emoji bug story was one of the best things I heard in a long while, it cracked me up big time! :laughing:

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