Speaker Story: Galit Ariel

Design conference speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience levels, and interests. With Speaker Story, we interview speakers and share the stories behind their talks. In each interview, we ask how they get started, what they have learned from being on stage, and specific advice for aspirant speakers. By sharing these stories, we want to help others get started. Today we're happy to share Galit Ariel's story. Galit is a TechnoFuturist, thought leader and creative that explores the wild and imaginative side of immersive technologies.

Hello! Who are you and how did you get into public speaking?

Galit Ariel. I got into public speaking after publishing my book, Augmenting Alice, about the next 'space exploration' technology - Augmented Reality, realizing that the type of conversation we have about tech in conferences and public engagement is more of 'cheerleading' than reflective and valuable content.

Galit Ariel Photo Credit Christoph Steinbauer

What do you like about speaking at conferences?

I like the interaction with the audience during the talk. The 'aha' moment that you can feel happening whilst you are on stage. But mostly the opportunity to meet, interact and engage with all the participants (audience, other speakers, stage crew) that are there because they are interested or passionate about tech, society, and our future. Being part of a knowledge community.

On which topic do you typically speak about?

Immersive tech (especially AR), Technology and Society, Technology and ethics/privacy/agency, The future of technology (and education, commerce, culture, cities).

Do you remember your first conference talk? How did it go?

I do. My first talk was at The Next Web, I was told I will be speaking at the secondary stage so I was chilled thinking it will be 100-200 people. As we neared the stage (which I mistakenly thought is the main stage) I said to the stage manager 'pheeeew, I'm so happy I'm doing the secondary stage and not this one!' he looked at me oddly and said 'This IS the secondary stage'. 20 mins later I gave a talk in front of 2000 people... After that 'baptism by fire,' I was ready to talk at any stage, anywhere, always...

At how many events have you spoken?

Spoke at 80+ events, including the TEDWomen 2018 conference.

What is your speaking fee?

It really really really depends - I calculate the fees depending on

  1. Length of talk required (20 min/30 min and 45 min/1 hr are different in terms of the time it takes to create them etc)
  2. Is it a talk I have ready or do I need to create a completely new talk for the event
  3. (pre-COVID) - how far I need to travel (especially if it's overseas)
  4. Type and profile of conference/business event

If you give a talk with slides, what platform/tools do you use to create the presentation?

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Keynote.

How much time do you normally spend on preparing your lecture?

ooooo. I would say 4-5 days to work out the content, 2 days to make the first draft (in slide wireframe), 4-5 days to get imagery/slide design, and then 1-2 days to revise as I do a run-thoroughs of the talk.

Do you have a pre-talk routine?

Listen to music so I get in the zone.

Public speaking is a muscle you have to develop and maintain. In my first year speaking I decided I will say 'yes' to any talk requests just so I can 'train' in talking.
— Galit Ariel

What advice do you have for new speakers?

Public speaking is a muscle you have to develop and maintain. In my first year speaking, I decided I will say 'yes' to any talk requests just so I can 'train' in talking. Now I am more selective and have more time constraints, but that year was invaluable.

Through giving public talks, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The audience doesn't know what you're going to say. It sounds silly, but most speakers dread that they will forget some of the content they want to deliver, and lose it (on and off stage) when they can't deliver it 100%. But even if you deliver 80% of what you were meant to deliver it will be 100% of new knowledge/information. You might not get it right, but that's ok! If your talk is valuable even 80%, 60%, or 50% of what you intended to deliver is valuable. So enjoy the ride!

Are there any other speakers you look up to? Anyone who’s inspired you?

Almost all the speakers I've met inspire me. I try to watch as many talks at the conferences I speak at. Keep learning - content but also observing delivery, audience engagement, and even just being a friendly face in the front row for other speakers is valuable.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

Websites: futurememoryinc.com, galitariel.com
Socials: Instagram @theargirl, Twitter @galitariel, LinkedIn 'Galit Ariel'

Invite Galit Ariel to speak at your event

Are you inspired by Galit's story and would like to invite her to speak at your public or private (online) meetup or conference. Click the button and share your event details with her.

Invite Galit

Share your story

Do you have experience as design conference speakers, and would like to share your story? Feel free to do so by sending an email to submit [at] neonmoire.com and we get back to you with more details.

Share on

Get the latest design conference news
in your inbox!

Join over 2,000 readers and receive a curated mix of upcoming events, inspirational talks, and links at the intersection of tech, design, and culture every Monday.