The members of IEEE-TSEC Student Chapter, had approached Akshat Kedia (an active Mozillian from the Mozilla Mumbai Community), to have talks on FOSS and Mozilla at their annual technical festival ISAAC.
Accordingly the event was planned, we had an IRC meet a week earlier to decide who will talk on what. I was quite excited to deliver a talk in front of a large crowd, as TSEC is a reputed educational institute in Mumbai, and ISAAC particularly is quite popular among the colleges in the Suburbs.
I reached the venue by the time, Sushant was already delivering his talk on Code Contributing to Mozilla. My talk was the last one, after Akshat; and looking at the audience had left me flustered. Upon talking with the IEEE-TSEC guys, I came to know that 270 students from all over Mumbai were attending the talks. I had never really faced this large audience.
While walking down the isle, to the dais, I saw many students with their writing pads out, jotting down things; such was the seriousness of the audience. On the dais, I came up with an idea to get the attention of my audience(and also to calm my nerves). I took up 5 Mozilla Wrist bands, and went into the audience. I hosted a miniature rapid-fire quiz, picking up random students, asking them questions about the web and rewarding them with the Mozilla wrist band on a right answer.
Once back on the dais, I had become quite comfortable with facing the audience. So I started my talk on Community Building and Getting Involved with Mozilla. The talk went very well, guessing by the response of students after my talk. I had brought along with me my Keon and also my Firefox OS Foxconn Tablet(that I had received in the Tablet Contribution Program). After the talks, arrangements were made for the students to handle the devices and collect the awesome Mozilla swag, while leaving the auditorium. I was very happy to see students interested in Firefox OS and its working. The cost of the Intex and Spice Firefox OS Mobiles particularly raised many student eyebrows in surprise.
Many students stayed back(after the talks) to talk to the three of us, on getting started with contributing to Mozilla. Akshat’s talk on Privacy had sparked great interest among the students about their online safety. Most of the students in the audience were freshmen, which I felt was the best part. They would have 4 years of their under-graduate education to learn and contribute to Mozilla.
The very next day was the Hands-on Session on Webmaker and Appmaker at TSEC. I could not attend the session due to my prior commitments, but Akshat, single handedly conducted the session and it too was a grand success! Akshat even demoed the Lightbeam addon to instill interest about privacy issues among the students.
Hoping to have more of such events in the future!
P.S: Slides of my talk can be found here.