"Hi Leonie, I'm sitting here in the lobby with Anton Bollen right now and think your presentations could really complement each other. Let's have a chat about it when I’m back from Vienna."
That's pretty much how the e-mail from my former work colleague Dominik went, who was at the tekom spring conference 2019.
I had planned a big in-house presentation on simplified graphics at the time. It was my first presentation and I really had no idea why I’d submitted it. Presenting was light years away from my comfort zone, after all! My passion for the subject had probably fooled the scaredy cat in me. And now I was going to present with a stranger?
To cut a long story short, after an exciting virtual meeting, good coaxing and some professional coordination, I started my speaking career as a duo with Anton. Dominik was proved right: Anton's and my topics complemented each other perfectly, and the chemistry was also spot on. The baptism of fire, our first joint presentation on simplified graphics and screenshots in front of a large audience, went incredibly well despite the heart palpitations, and the feedback from the people there was extremely positive.
So we decided to continue giving presentations together. This was followed by joint publications, a more detailed probe into the area of UX, which meant our second joint technical presentation at tcworld conference 2021: "Don't be fooled! - Dark Patterns and Ethical Design."
Recording of the joint presentation "Don't be fooled! - Dark patterns and ethical design" by Leonie Saremba and Anton Bollen at tcworld conference 2021
Our bond survived corporate changes and the conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. The initial idea of bringing us together was pure luck, and I’m really glad I decided to do it.
Co-presenting with an experienced speaker like Anton made it much easier for me to set foot in the world of professional presentations and conferences. The thematic exchanges between our roles with professionally different focuses is very exciting and gives us additional professional depth when co-presenting. We look at concepts from several angles, discuss them in great detail and can deal with a wide range of aspects. This makes the preparation stage very labour-intensive, but this underscores our desire to make our message as personal and sustainable as possible.
Plus, I've made a great friend in Anton, have his dog as a dedicated test audience in my remote ear, and am tracking the growth of a fluffy tomcat!
Co-presenting? - I say added value!