In November 2001, soon after I returned from maternity leave, I was asked to give a presentation at the uWaterloo web redesign boot camp. This was a full-day event intended to introduce content editors, website administrators, and developers to some of the key concepts used during the redesign process. Topics included content planning, information architecture, usability, accessibility, and writing for the web.
In recent years my job has transitioned more into a development role, so it was a challenge for me to get up-to-speed on this topic. I had been familiar with the principles of writing for the web for many years. In fact, I wrote an article for a now-defunct website way back in 2001. Recently my career has evolved more towards the development side, so it was a challenge for me to get up-to-speed on this topic quickly. I also worked hard to find real-world examples from the uWaterloo web space and some fun graphics to include in the presentation.
My presentation skills have evolved significantly over the years. As a student, I was terrified of giving presentations. Getting up in front of a room full of people was enough to give me a bright red face and sweaty palms. Now I'm quite comfortable in front of an audience. People often compliment me on my presenting skills.