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.