Last month I presented at CACTUSS for the second time in my SQL career. Now in and of its self that does not seem important. But to me it is. You see, my presentation was based on one I had attended at SQL Saturday in Dallas on April 2nd and it made a big impression on me. So much so, it rekindled a spark inside me.
At the SQL Saturday I was hanging with my good friend Wes Brown ( twitter | blog ). He has been instrumental in helping me get started with presenting. So, at the networking event I asked if anyone was presenting at our user group meeting on the 19th. His response was, “No.”. I then told him I would present. At the time, I did not know what I would be presenting on, but had been leaning towards on Central Management Server. I have been slowly getting one going in my environment so it would be a natural fit to present.
The following week I received an email from Wes confirming I would still be presenting and wanted to know the subject to post and send out via email. After several emails I decided the presentation would be on Professional Development Plans.
As I mentioned I had found something inside me again. Since attending the presentation I had written down and created a PDP. All the pieces were not in the plan yet, but that was O.K. because the main point here is, I had a plan.
Anyway, to get back on the point, after a few minor technical issues, (starting the projector) and a few hiccups here and there the presentation was running smoothly. My son actually attended due to scheduling conflicts, and he helped with some comic relief at times.
Throughout the presentation there was interaction, questions asked and at one point, I had everyone do a small exercise. In the presentation I talked about the importance of writing, presenting and even volunteering for either user group functions, or SQL Saturdays or PASS program committees.
Over all things went very well and after the presentation, while doing some networking, several people came up to me, thanked me and mentioned it made them realize they needed a PDP themselves. I was also talk with a former college and recommended him to one of several people in attendance currently hiring. So networking is very important.
So, assessing my presentation, I would say I did well. Are there areas I can improve, absolutely? But I am gaining confidence, feeling better in front of crowds and I actually enjoy speaking. So I will be presenting more at CACTUSS. I already started on another two presentations and with any luck a SQL Saturday is in my future soon too.