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Members speaking at User Groups

The Midlands PASS chapter is approaching two years old. We've had some great speakers from the outside like MVPs Brian Knight, John Welch, and Wayne Snyder. We've got another great one coming with Darren Herbold next week. One area we've really struggled is getting users to speak. I've spoken a few times, I was able to invite my friend Jeremy Brown down from Charlotte, and we've had Paul Shearer and the ACS crew speak twice. Other than that, though, we've not been able to get interest from the group in presenting.

Chris Randall's twitter post about stirring up interest is what stirred up this blog post. A user group is probably one of the safest place to break into presenting. The folks there know you and hopefully (if it's a healthy group) want to see you succeed. So it's a little less nerve racking that a venue where you know few, if any, in the audience. Andy Warren and I talked about this issue at the SQL Saturday in Jacksonville. He's worked to try and train up some speakers within his community. We've offered to do the same, but so far, no takers. If anyone has any ideas for encouraging home-grown speakers, I'm all ears.


K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.


Posted by Andy Warren on 1 August 2008

Brian, one thing we're trying this month is having someone do a 15 minute presentation prior to the 'main' presentation. The shorter format has appeal for beginners, less content to write, less time to make mistakes. The other approach is to ask for help on certain topics, especially new features, or a little more cynically, ones that you know happen to match up with skilled member or two.

Posted by bkelley on 1 August 2008

That's something that might work, the shorter presentation. I've tried the skills matchup and I get begged off, unfortunately.

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