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FIRST Cyber Threat Intelligence Webinar Series: Building an intelligence-driven organization

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Just like for most people that speak at conferences, this year has been quite unusual for me too. Recently, I gave my talk, Building an intelligence-driven organization, and it was a new experience for me. Talking to an industry conference remotely. So, here is how this went.



In 2019 I submitted a talk in the CFP of FIRST Cyber Threat Intelligence Symposium that was scheduled to take place in Zurich in March 2020. I received some feedback and after some back-and-forth, in February 2020 I received an email that a version of my talk with some minor adjustments was accepted. Getting accepted to talk at this event for me was one of the biggest highlights of my professional life in 2020, but as we all know… COVID-19 happened.

Again, after various back-and-forth, the awesome FIRST CTI organisers team decided to run the event online in the first weeks of May 2020 and rename it to FIRST Cyber Threat Intelligence Webinar Series. That worked out nicely, and the entire event was great. Based on this small experience I gained from this, here are some recommendations for any “remote” conference speakers:

  • Find a quiet place
  • Make sure you have good internet connectivity
  • Good audio/video hardware
  • Test your setup and content in a test conference call before the event
  • Test your setup and content a few minutes before the presentation once again
  • Keep everything you might need close by (water, notes, etc.)
  • Turn off mobile phones, pagers, chat applications, or anything else that can cause interruptions or unwanted noise (jewellery, cables/cloths touching the mic, etc)
  • It’s easier to derail when presenting in this format, be focused and plan carefully your talk
  • Depending on the talk, you might not have video which means the non-verbal communication is removed from the equation so you have to rely more on the way you present your content
  • If you do have video, make sure your appearance, the lighting and background are professional and not distracting your audience from the actual content
  • It’s much harder to assess audience’s engagement throughout the talk, so make sure that you ask for a lot of feedback afterwards

Just to be clear, I am not saying that I succeeded in all of the above. Just that I realized the importance of those throughout this process. Hopefully that will be useful to future “remote” presenters. :)

Written by xorl

May 15, 2020 at 09:44

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