I gave my first ever talk at Linuxchix on Monday. It was an overview of Rails. I kept it informal as we're never sure of the venue or how many people will turn up. As it turned out there were around ten people and we sat in a fairly noisy area outside of Gloria Jean's at St Leonard's.
It apparently went quite well, given the location and the necessary informality. I briefly went over why Rails is so appealing to businesses and what it actually does to help a developer build a web app. I ended with a vague discussion about MVC architecture and took a few questions. People seemed particularly interested in the causes behind Rail's reported slowness: which unfortunately I don't actually know. So I'll have to research that for next time.
I had a few positive tips for improvement come out of it too. Mainly it was suggested that I tie the talk together with a narrative element - as people naturally respond to stories. It gives people a hook to hang onto as they follow the points you're presenting. Slides or a demo would have been good too - but that was a limitation of the venue.
Afterward, of course, we all headed off to SLUG and some interesting talks, including one on how AV was used during LCA, and another on the Google Summer-of-code project.