Last night I faced a bit of a fear of mine by giving a 5 minute lightning talk at The popular Content Strategy Meetup, hosted at The Book Club in London's startup-rich Shoreditch.

The fear was less about speaking in public, which I enjoy (although it still gives me a certain amount of the heebie-jeebies) but more about the format. Speaking for five minutes with 20 slides which automatically advance every 15 seconds is, for me, bum-clenchingly terrifying. It strips me of all of my security mechanisms and forces a particular focus and rhythm. An interesting challenge.

I loved it.

The event, which is well organised by local agency, Together, had a wonderfully warm and generous atmosphere. The line-up of 8 speakers was well structured to give a good variety of topics. As the nerd in the room, I was most happy with the reception my talk got.

Feedback from longer versions of my I Can Smell Your CMS talk has often brought the question of how I was taking this topic to the ears of those who benefit most from its message. This was my first step towards that.

My talk argues for more consideration for the performance impact complex CMS can have on websites. Many developers appreciate the message already. The challenge is to convince decision makers outside of the dev community that expensive and popular platforms are not always suitable just by dint of their price-tag, brand, or popularity in the enterprise.

The evening ended with a chance to socialise with the 100 or so who had filled every nook and cranny of The Book Club's downstairs bar.

Slides and video

A deeper look

Some may be interested in the longer version of my talk, which goes a bit deeper and has some real-life case-studies and battle scars. There is a video of this talk at Fronteers conference in Amsterdam and also a more extensive slide deck available should you wish.

The Content Strategy lightening talks were all recorded. I hope to share a video of this 5 minute version here soon.

Photos from the evening

Photo credit: Sylvain Deleu. Related article: I can smell your CMS at Fronteers 2012