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Introducing Speakers

I saw this post (please do read it) about introducing speakers and it reminded me that I wanted to write about it too. At the July oPASS meeting I did the introduction for Kendal Van Dyke, and it just felt like the right thing to do. We’ve been a little lax about it, and in fact this month we didn’t do it very well. I think it happens a lot because the meeting organizer has been communicating and/or knows the speaker and forgets that the rest of the attendees don’t have that background yet.

Most speakers include a slide of background/qualifications (which I agree with), but reading it is often awkward – feels like the presentation is about selling the speaker and not teaching the attendees. A good intro both helps the speaker build their brand (the most common reason for speaking) and gives them the best chance of success by helping the attendees learn about their qualifications from someone who is allowed to be openly enthusiastic about.

Not sure I said all that well, but hoping for the best. I’d like to see the SQL community really adopt this as a practice, from chapter meetings right up through the Summit.


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.


Posted by Steve Jones on 20 July 2010

I think it's a good idea, though I have to say that it's a little embarrassing for me to have someone talking about me before I come up.

I tend to not have a slide about me, but I do take 30 sec to introduce myself.

Posted by Andy Warren on 21 July 2010

One alternative is to tell them what to say, that's a way to keep it from getting out of control, but also feels strange. Have to reconcile embarrassment with brand building. Or change your name on the deck to Jeve Stones and let him get the credit!

Posted by jcrawf02 on 22 July 2010

As an attendee, it's valuable, because you can quickly tell what type of confidence you can place in the presenter, and usually gives you a place to follow up with questions (email/twitter/blog). "Rated as among the top 5 DBA's by Teen Monthly" versus "Production DBA for Amazon.com for the last 10 years/author of the following books/board member of PASS"

Plus, it sort of shows who is used to presenting; presenting = performing, and no good performer does so anonymously (at least not for long).

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