Christian Heilmann

Passing the mic

Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 4:30 pm

I realised this week that I’ve been presenting at technology events for about 13 years now. The latter years were more or less dedicated to this and in some cases I covered 30 conferences a year.

Painting of me handing a microphone to a unicorn by Anke Mehlert
Painting by Anke Mehlert

It is exhausting, but also fun work. And it brings a lot of extra opportunities. Both professionally – making contacts, meetings with companies and exposure. And on a personal level – seeing the world, trying out new places, meeting friends.

At a certain stage of your career speaking at a lot of events is great. You get outside validation, you bring back insights to your company and you make a name for yourself. If you are your own boss or you make money by speaking and giving courses, it is of course a no-brainer.

There comes a time in your career though where being on the road all the time becomes counter productive. And, even worse, it can become a barrier for others to engage and make their mark. I don’t want to be in the way – I want to pave a path.

Currently, my job is to empower others and to aid communication between departments. And to help coach and mentor people to become more visible inside and outside the company. This takes a lot of time and effort. But it is also rewarding to use your experience to help others avoid mistakes you made and follow best practices you discovered.

This is why I will take a step back from covering lots of conferences myself. I am lucky to know a lot of people that I can help fill in the spots, so please keep the offers coming. I hope that there is a great opportunity to get other people to make your event a success. I will try especially hard to ensure that the people I connect you to:

  • are reliable and great at their job
  • are new and different faces with more diverse backgrounds than me
  • get all the help they need to ensure that working with you is easy
  • find their own unique voice and get channels to get heard

On a related note, I am impressed about some of the talent that cropped up the last years on the speaking circuit. There are a lot of incredible people to choose from and it is exciting to find and support new people with different ideas.

I understand that there are harsh realities of having to sell tickets for your event. I also understand that picking well-known headliners make this a safer bet. I hope that there is a middle ground though. I can help get new people on stage and amplify their presence at your event on my communication channels.

I’m seeing a lot of new talent burn out and people who have been around for ages becoming repetitive. I don’t want to become either and I’d prefer helping new voices get onto the circuit without burning out.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and try to make that happen.

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