Actually it was subset of the group, but Kathi & Julie from the St Louis SQL Server User Group did a great job of marketing my free Succesful Technical Speaking class. Microsoft was kind enough to provide both meeting space as well as lunch in a great show of community support. We had about 10 people attend and for most of them I think it was the right class at the right time, start the process of conquering the fear of 'I can't answer every question'.
I'm always re-evaluating this class in particular - should I rebrand it to Beginning Technical Speaking? Should I include how to use Powerpoint (I talk about technique but no hands on right now because it switches from ideas to doing), longer labs (some people tend to get very pale at at the idea of a 15-20 minute first time presentation!). I'm presenting the class again here in Orlando in September, I think I'll do one more iteration and then decide what approach to take for next year.
Part of the class is why someone wants to speak. Many reasons, but a common one is to build their resume/profile - nothing all wrong with that. Presenting is good, but you'll reach far more people by writing an article for SSC and probably have less stress because it can be a very deliberate effort. Not trying to talk anyone out of speaking, but if you're really serious, you need to do both. You'll reach different audiences and built two different skill sets. I've been talking to my friend Steve Jones about him building a writing class, but so far I haven't put forth a really compelling reason - but my best one is that not only does he have the writing experience, he sees on a regular basis lots of different styles, good and bad. We'll see!
But to return to speaking for a moment, I'll be trying to about 10 different out of Florida user groups next year to meet new people, sharpen my skills, and of course - to market my skills and training business. If you're looking for a speaker drop me a note via www.endtoendtraining.com (no, I'm not posting my email here!) and we can also talk about whether the speaking class might be a nice add on to my visit.