I know several different people who learn in different ways. I know auditory learners. I know visual learners. I know book learners. I know kinesthetic learners.
I am none of the above.
After I finished my undergraduate degree, I took a whole day of before I started graduate school - in an entirely unrelated field. Many of my colleagues had bachelors' degrees in business, so I usually felt a bit behind in courses on macroeconomics and international finance.
I tried listening to extra lectures. I tried reading supplementary materials. I tried watching our professors' video recordings from other terms. Nothing seemed to help.
Then a friend asked me to help her study for a test.
I didn't know the material very well, but I said "sure" anyway. We sat down with a few other students in the library and I gave my first impromptu lesson on microeconomics.
I didn't know the material at all but was teaching it. This is when I discovered that I learned best by teaching.
Why I Speak
I sign up to speak at conferences because it gives me the opportunity to teach something. Since I learn best by teaching others, I sign up to speak at conferences because I have something I want to learn.
If there's something I want to learn, I'll find a reason to go out, study up, and present it to someone else.
I speak at conferences not just because there's something cool I want to present, but because there's something cool I want to learn.
Why do you speak at conferences?