NYU - Start Up School lecture series.

A continual series of guest lecturing events for New York Universities Start Up School focusing on prototype and user testing.

  • Role
  • Guest Lecturer
  • Year
  • 2020
  • Company
  • NYU
  • Tools
  • Figma
  • Platform
  • Learning
  • Case Study
  • NA

The Background.

Public speaking has never been my forte. As someone who wrote their MSc thesis around the topic of introversion and extraversion in chat interfaces, I know that I fall more so on the spectrum of introversion. This in a way has always held me back in one way or the other. When I started out in the world of UX I often had what I considered to be well thought out solutions yet I found myself to shy and awkward to speak up and pitch them in front of the wider group. This of course improved slightly with time and seniority in my roles. I reluctantly and hesitantly had to pitch proposals and concepts to leaders of Fortune 1000 companies which little by little bolstered confidence in my ability as well as the notion that people would actually want to listen to what I had to say, but the problem still remained the same, public speaking was the most dreaded part of job.

Until I moved to New York and started working with Intent the amount I would speak and present in front of a group of more than 8 people was limited to a few times per month. But in Intent, my role saw me regularly giving UX team updates at our weekly company hand hall, running multiple large group (15+) brainstorms a week as well as taking the helm of the Design System team. With my new role as head of the Design System I wanted to create a large group who would act as champions for the standardisation of Bettie user first design. In the end I managed to attract about 35 people to take part at varying levels or responsibility and as result had regular sessions and discussions as a group. While at Intent my public speaking did greatly improve but it was kindly pointed out to me that it was the one area of my skills that needed to improve.

Based on this feedback I decided to do something that I never thought I would do… ever. That was to volunteer to give a lecture with the hope of giving back some of the knowledge that I had been so kindly given when I was in college as well as improving my public speaking abilities. The Start-Up School at New York University runs regular lectures for their MBA students and is always looking for interesting lecture volunteers, so this is what I decided to put myself forward on.

I gave my first lecture on prototyping and user testing. It was a mixture of a 1.5 hour talk and a 1 hour demonstration of creating a basic clickable prototype in Figma. To my surprise, the 2 and a half hours which I dreaded the thought of flew by and dare I say I actually enjoyed it. The class was curious and engaged. So engaged in fact that the head of The Start-Up School contacted me again and told me that my lecture was the most highly voted to date, before asking if I would like to become a more regular face on the scene.

Of course this was an amazing honour and shock, but it gave me confidence in myself and has helped me improve no end. Today I feel like public speaking is just another part of my job, like prototyping, its natural. Since my first lecture I have gone on to give 2 more with more to follow some day, hopefully.

The Result.

Recordings of the lectures will be uploaded shortly.

Thanks for
stopping by!

If you would like to find out more about my work or would like to work on a project together, then please reach out.

I am currently looking for interesting, rewarding roles in UI/UX and Product Design.