The Engineering Leadership Podcast · Episode 86

Storytelling and the Art of Public Speaking

with Arquay Harris

May 31, 2022
If you ever find yourself staring at a screen not knowing how to even start an important presentation this episode is for you! Arquay Harris (VP Engineering @ Webflow) underscores the importance of storytelling in public speaking, and shares valuable tips on how to craft a narrative and get your point across in a way that feels natural for you. For Arquay’s slides & original presentation from our 2022 Spring Virtual Summit - check out the full video here: https://bit.ly/3GxMjT3
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ABOUT ARQUAY HARRIS

Arquay is the VP of Engineering at Webflow. Prior to Webflow, she held Engineering leadership positions at Slack, Google, and CBS Interactive. A developer who also has a Masters in Design, Arquay loves the marriage of form and function. When not working she can be found cooking, stumbling over guitar and piano chords, or watching Seinfeld.

"And so if you were using this to give an actual presentation, you might say something like, ‘Imagine a world where deploys only take two seconds? Or what if tests only took 30 seconds to write?’

So you're taking this undesirable thing and you're contrasting it with this idealistic future to really bring in that emotionality to get the audience hooked.

- Arquay Harris 


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SHOW NOTES:

  • What Arquay starts every presentation with (2:03)
  • Message, tone, and audience (3:17)
  • The hero’s journey (7:17)
  • The mountain story structure (8:42)
  • Nested loops (9:33)
  • Sparklines (11:28)
  • In medias res (13:14)
  • Converging ideas (14:22)
  • False start (15:16)
  • The petal structure (16:27)
  • Focus on the purpose (21:13)

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