September 19, 2023Interviews
Pro Tips for Speaking at NANOG
Q & A with NANOG 89 Speaker ISOC's Aftab Siddiqui
by Elizabeth Drolet
Every meeting, the NANOG Program Committee (P.C.) works diligently to select the leading minds in information technology to present on the most pertinent + cutting-edge topics. Presentations spark the imagination, encourage dialogue, and drive new solutions to our greatest networking challenges.
Senior Manager for Internet Technology at Internet Society (ISOC), Aftab Siddiqui's first presentation occurred at the virtual NANOG 82 meeting. Siddiqui has presented at other conferences. "No other conference is as thorough" as NANOG with the submission process, however, according to Siddiqui.
What has been your experience as a speaker for NANOG?
Exciting. Yes, I have spoken before, but it was a virtual event; therefore, I didn't get any sudden rush of nervousness. Overall, the experience of presenting at NANOG for the first time was very smooth. The team provided all the details to make it a good experience.
Why did you decide to present at NANOG for the first time?
Presenting regularly at APRICOT, a marquee event in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region, has been a valuable learning experience. However, presenting at a global event like NANOG is even more important, as it provides a platform to share knowledge widely and gain valuable feedback.
What have you learned during this process?
One thing that makes submitting a presentation at NANOG helpful is the shepherds allocated to you for feedback. These are some of the industry's most successful technical professionals, so getting their constructive feedback is essential for an excellent presentation.
Why did you choose your NANOG 89 presentation topic?
Because it is relevant to my field, I learned something new while looking at some data points and found it very interesting and decided to share it with a larger audience.
Why is your presentation topic for NANOG 89 vital for our community?
My presentation topic is crucial for our community because it sheds light on a hidden issue that many are aware of but may not fully grasp the gravity of. This issue directly impacts our industry, and by providing a comprehensive view along with practical insights and potential or possible solutions, I aim to offer valuable takeaways that can benefit our peers and elevate network operations as a whole.
What are you most looking forward to in presenting for NANOG 89?
Sharing my knowledge, learning from peers through Q&A, or just feedback. I am additionally looking forward to meeting with the community in person. It's a huge community, and making some new connections is important.
What would be your advice to future first-time NANOG speakers?
If you have something interesting to share, submit your presentation. Even if it is not accepted, you will get constructive feedback from the shepherd, which will help you understand more about the topic and the expectations of giving a presentation.
Have you presented for other organizations? If so, how has the speaker process been different for NANOG?
I have presented several times at different conferences. No other conference is so thorough with the whole process. This makes the entire experience of presenting at such a big event very simple.
Any other pro tips for speakers? For example, what to do if you get nervous?
Don't read from the slides. Just stick to your knowledge rather than repeating what's on the slides.
How do you keep an audience engaged?
That's a tricky question. Not sure, but if the topic is important and has meaningful data, then the audience will take an interest.
What is the best way to prepare for a NANOG presentation?
If you think of a topic and have an interesting viewpoint, make sure it is to the point. Explain the problem, explain how operators are or can be impacted by the problem, and what could be some possible solutions.
How can we stay in touch with you?
Still on Twitter @aftabsiddiqui or can be found on Mastodon @[email protected].
Elizabeth Drolet is NANOG's Multimedia Story Producer
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