Unstoppable Robot Ninja

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Have Keynote deck, will travel

One of my favorite English teachers seemed to disappear into the material he taught. He was a pretty solemn man—a church minister in his off-hours—who, when discussing Joan Didion or Samuel Johnson, would crack jokes, verbally spar with his students, or just cover himself in chalk as he scribbled something on the chalkboard. And while there isn’t space enough in this little textarea to list all the ways he influenced me, I clearly remember how much he obviously loved for sharing his love for a particular book, author, or idea.

So, to the point: I am currently looking for speaking opportunities.

A bit of background: An Event Apart Boston wrapped nearly a month ago, which reminded me just how much I’d missed public speaking. I’ve always enjoyed the heck out of being onstage, discussing topics I’m passionate about, but the past year’s being a mite hectic; between work and other commitments, I’ve had to cut back a bit on conferences, training, and the like. But since AEA Boston finished, I realized I need to make time for the things you love—so one blog post later, and here we are.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but some topics I’m especially fond of discussing are:

  • Learning or working with web standards (shock, horror),
  • Quality design, code, and how they intersect,
  • Fostering creativity and collaboration in a team environment.

I’ve touched on the above in presentations, workshops, and panels at South By Southwest, An Event Apart, Harvard University, and the Webmaster Jam Session. I've also conducted workshops and training sessions at Harvard, as well as a few other Boston-area institutions.

And, thankfully, people seem pretty happy with my work. I've been fortunate to get some positive feedback on my speaking; here are a few reviews of this year’s AEA Boston talk, “Comps vs. Code: Couples’ Therapy”:

Ethan’s talk is coming to an end. He is easily one of the more enjoyable speakers to listen to, right up there with Jared Spool, Jason Santa Maria and Jeffery Zeldman. If there’s one thing I’ve learned outside of the whole design/development world, it’s that you need to be able to captivate an audience not only with your topic, but with your personality. You have to be witty, funny, and likable.

Paul Kelley, An Event Apart Boston: Day 2

First of all, [Ethan's] was the best slide-based presentation I’ve ever seen.... [He] showed me code, plus site screenshots and ingenious slide animation. Short of a Matrix-style head-port download, I’m not sure I could have been taught something more effectively.

NYPL's Jennifer Anderson, AEABoston2008: What Inspired Me

Your slides. I want to fuck your slides.

Well-known web designer whom I respect very much, immediately after my AEA Boston talk

(On that last one…well, I don’t exercise much restraint when I’m working in Keynote. I adore that program.)

So. If you’re planning a conference, looking for someone to speak in front of your team, or interested in training, please do drop me a line. Thanks for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

(This concludes the self-promotion part of this month's updates. We now return you to the otherwise inane stream of cat pictures and Muppet videos. Good day.)

This is a blog entry posted on day 11368 in the Journal.

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