The Fifth Elephant 2019

Gathering of 1000+ practitioners from the data ecosystem

The power of saying "I don't know"

Submitted by Andrew Murphy (@andrewmurphy) on Sunday, 6 January 2019

Session type: Short talk of 20 mins Status: Rejected


It’s something we all struggle with, admitting we don’t know something. But I’m here to show you the power of saying “I don’t know” to people.

Saying “I don’t know” doesn’t have to be the end of a conversation, in fact it can be the start of an entirely new, exciting conversation with learning opportunities for all parties.

We will talk through scenarios where we don’t feel comfortable saying it, ways we can feel comfortable saying it, and the good things that come from it.


Why we don’t say I don’t know
Why we should say it
How to say I don’t know to clients
How to say I don’t know as an expert
How to say I don’t know as a leader
A deep (and revealing) discussion on the underlying reasons why we feel afraid to say “I don’t know” to people, including sharing from attendees

Speaker bio

I combine my 13 years of professional software engineering experience with a passion for leadership and communication skills. My main focus is on how we can be better technical leaders and developers by focusing on learning the skills most of us ignore - communication and leadership skills.

Originally from the UK but now based in Australia, I have consulted, performed workshops and developed software for clients across the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Technology in all its forms is part of my makeup and so I code, speak, write, teach, make, game and listen to all things geek



  • Terry Lewis (@terrylewis) a year ago

    What do they mean by objective I wonder? IQ test aren’t reliable at all, as for me. To what extent are they objective then? Weird world. Is it true that experts share tutorials on the Power of public speaking and Communication samples?

  • Anwesha Sarkar (@anweshaalt) a year ago

    Thank you for submitting the proposal. Submit your slides and preview video by 20th April (latest) it helps us to close the review process.

Login to leave a comment