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Speaker Lessons!! Un-SQL Friday #004 Roundup

 We had a cozy (read: small) UnSQL Friday this time around, and I’m good with that. Every entry we got was very high quality stuff, so you’re to go out and read each and every one.

Roundup time!

Allan Hirt (Twitter) was THE first to post, with Speaker and Audience Etiquette!  He give a great discussion of 11 speaker and 6 audience tips, all essential to a good session.  Favorite quote, from Speaker tip #6: “The audience wants to get something out of the session, not see you do N minutes of mental masturbation on your part.”  Well said!  Favorite audience tip – and there should be some sort of training or screening process surrounding this, to make sure people GET IT: “Read the session title and description carefully before you choose to attend.“  Y-E-S.

Next up is Nick Haslam (Twitter). In his blog, he explains that he’s not a regular presenter, but he has learned a very, very important lesson from his first engagement. It’s a common mistake, and ”It can never end well, in the majority of cases.”  I think Buck Woody would agree.

Karen Lopez (Twitter) wrote a wonderful FAIL-based post entitled, Free Advice That’s Paid For, with “tips on making a presentation look it it was all planned.”  I have two things.  First off, this should be required reading for EVERYONE even considering doing a speaking session. Second, my favorite quote: “Don’t blame anyone.  Later, if you want to conduct a forensic investigation to find out who did it and have them prosecuted, do it.”

Just a Programmer wrote Lessons Learned From PHP, a blog about what not to do at a user group talk. (“what could be more a more UnSQL blog than a PHP talk that I bombed at NYPHP!”)  This one is winceworthy, cringeworthy, painful as a Michael Scott-centered episode of The Office.  I loved it.  (Bonus points for the shoutout to Sean’s DBARant!)  Justin, I salute you…both for soldiering through your public FAIL, and for blogging about it and learning.

Much like me. My blog Speakers Lessons Learned at SQLRally Code Sins is a story of (nearly) abject failure, what I did right and wrong, and what lessons I’m taking away.  Favorite quote by yours truly: “I also knew that I’d get over that, and there would be lessons to learn from this.  Apparently, this finally qualifies me as a grown-up.”

Late but not least, Nic Cain (Twitter) writes Speakers First Rule. (Nic, did I know you read & loved Sword of Truth? Have we talked and complained about the series in great detail yet? I think so, but I digress…)  True to his new handle, Sir SQL exhorts us to get in there: “I decided I wanted to present and that ultimately I wanted to present at the Summit. To do that I had to get started.”  Wow, way to be all inspiring and stuff, man!

Thanks for contributing, guys!  If I missed anyone, please let me know in the comments.

Happy days,
Jen McCown


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