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SQLAndy

I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.

Technical Speaking - Some Misc Thoughts

Last week I taught 'Successful Technical Speaking' for the first time - it's a free four class I put together for End to End Training to help train local speakers for the upcoming SQLSaturday, or maybe just to speak at an oPASS meeting. Getting people to speak for the first time is hard! They often have unfair expectations about how good they need to be combined with a natural fear of failure, so we thought it might be good to provide some coaching if we're going to try to talk people into speaking! The class went pretty well and I think eventually I may extend it to about 7 hours to allow more time to practice, and to spend more time on the public speaking aspect.

In this case the students had already done some speaking but were hoping for some pointers, and it seemed like out of all the stuff we discusssed (a lot!), the thing that was seen as absolutely new and useful to them was my 10/10 rule, that is, the 10 minutes before and after the speaking engagement are really key to your success. You need 10 minutes to get set up, test AV, and then just get into the Zen state required to speak, and then the 10 minutes afterward are where most speakers fail - they are tired and ready to be done, and they ignore (or at least don't enjoy) the people that crowd around to ask questions. In my experience a strong close there really helps. You move people to the back or out of the room, then take additional questions for as long as you can. Those people - out of all the ways that attended - really found something of interest in what you said and are hoping to explore it more deeply.

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