4 min read

How To Talk Bitcoin

General advice for giving presentations.
How To Talk Bitcoin

This post contains advice for people giving a talk/keynote/presentation about bitcoin, though it may also be useful in general conversation.

State the destination

Would you want to commit 45mins to a conference talk if you didn't know what you were going to learn (final destination)?

Before people can get onboard (hardy-har-har) with your topic, tell them about where you're taking them. There should be one destination, and one destination only! Too many talks try to combine multiple topics, confusing the listener.

So if you've already revealed the destination, what's the point of a talk? Well, the specific path taken is where you get to be creative.

Ask the audience

Every room of 100 people will be completely unique in terms of demographics, interests, careers, technical ability, level of wealth, etc.

Take quick surveys throughout your talk to gauge what is relevant to the audience and check the vibe (yes, I just said check the vibe). Comedians do crowd work to develop rapport and test the audience's appetite.

Time slots also matter. The last talk on the last day will have a totally different atmosphere than the first talk on the first day.

Make a stopover

At any event/meetup/conference, there is going to be a wide range in understanding and competency. The most common mistake I witness speakers make is assuming that an audience can make mental leaps in logic (A→C).

You have to guide them, step-by-step, to the final destination (A→B, B→C). This means prioritizing getting them part of the way there, then you can work on getting them all the way there.

You need to cater to the slowest thinkers in the room. Build up your case/story/tutorial one idea at a time. And, if using slides, follow the same rule: one idea per slide.

Communicate ideas clearly

Filling a slide with dense paragraphs about the mechanics of bitcoin's difficulty adjustment is not going to help a noob grasp it's importance.

Visually contrasting bitcoin's algorithmic supply issuance with that of the USD communicates a key difference across a very important monetary property.

There's a handful of visual templates that humans are used to seeing. Use them. There's no need to reinvent the wheel.

Talk slowly with pauses

Some of the best communicators in the world talk at a pace that is glacial because they're giving insight-dense information.

The benefit of this approach is that you'll naturally speak more clearly and it gives your audience time to process what you're saying.

Show them their progress

If someone gets lost (which people certainly will), help them jump back in. A simple progress bar at the bottom of your slides will do. It also provides encouragement to attendees on how far they've come (how much they've already learned).

Land the plane

Like landing a joke or a good story, make sure that your audience knows they've 'arrived'. Don't leave them hanging without closure or a call to action.

CTA's shouldn't tell people to buy bitcoin. Instead, encourage them to study one particular aspect relating to bitcoin covered in your talk (e.g. self-custody, the Cantillon Effect, EO6102, etc).

Land on time

If you're speaking to 200 people and you go over by 15 mins, that's FIFTY HOURS of combined time you've taken (an entire work week). Heck, finish early and gift your audience some time back.


I'll be speaking at Pacific Bitcoin

I usually only attend one conference each year. And this year it'll be PB23. Check out the lineup of speakers and you'll see it's likely to be a very high signal event.

Anil Patel
Independent Educator Anil is an independent educator, angel investor, and author of The Bitcoin Handbook. He holds an MBA and is based on Canada. Twitter

The Bitcoin Handbook translations are coming

Over the following weeks you'll be able to order my book in 🇫🇷French, 🇮🇹Italian, 🇪🇸Spanish, 🇩🇪German and 🇳🇱Dutch! This is in addition to the 🇹🇷Turkish and 🇰🇷Korean versions already released. A huge thanks to all the translators who've helped make this possible.

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