On Presenting—Making Bad Days Good
February 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Last weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at a wonderful technology event, in the Caribbean. Ok, so it wasn’t the Caribbean, it was Cleveland, but a lot of my friends were there, I had a good time and the event was awesome. Thanks Adam (b|t) and crew for running a really fantastic SQL Saturday.
Anyway, on Friday my good friend Erin Stellato (b|t) asked if I could do an additional presentation, that I’ve done frequently in the past (it’s on High Availability and Disaster Recovery in SQL Server—one of my favorite topics). I accepted the offer, but the only issue is that I didn’t have a demo environment, and if there’s anything I’ve learned about SQL Server audiences in my years of speaking, is that they love demos. So I spent a decent amount of time on Friday and Saturday morning getting a virtualization environment built, and didn’t pay too much attention to my other presentation, on columnstore indexes.
The HA and DR went great, but I flustered a little in my columnstore session—I knew the materials, but I hadn’t touched the demos in a while, and I just really didn’t like the general flow of the session. Combining the way I felt, with the attendee feedback (attendees—always give feedback, speakers love it, even if it’s bad), I decided to refactor both my demos and some visualizations in my slides, in an effort to make things clearer. Fortunately, I get to present the session again this week (thanks Edmonton SQL Server UG), so I’ll get to test the new slides.
The moral of this story, is sometimes we have bad days—everyone does. However, getting overly upset about it, doesn’t do a whole lot of good—think about where you can improve and do it.