1. There are three judges that get to ask questions and settle tie breakers.
2. Each speaker has 15 minutes to speak.
3. The audience is not allowed to ask questions.
4. At the end of all the presentations the audience votes for the winner.
The prizes were an MSDN subscription and a $75 gift card. When I arrived I found out that I was the last speaker of the night. I really wanted to be first so I tried to convince them to change the order, but they would not. Maybe they were saving the best for last. There were over 40 people at the meeting and only two from our local SQL user group. So the card were stacked against me.
After listening to the first four presentations,
I thought, there was no way I had a chance at winning this thing. Nevertheless, I was game. My presentation was titled, Speaking and Blogging. I decided to break the monotony a little by delivering a non-technical presentation. I almost changed it to a short technical presentation on Data-tier applications, but I decided against it and rolled on.
At the end of my presentation I still didn't think I had a chance, because the other 4 presenters gave really good technical sessions that delivered some good "food for thought" in the time allotted. We were all called to the front after I completed my session, then two people were asked to sit down. To my surprise, I was still standing. Then we were told that there was a tie for second place. I thought, cool I came in second place, but I was wrong. There was tie between the two remaining .Net presenters and I had WON!
While I was a excited by the fact that my presentation beat out the more technical ones, I found out that I won because I delivered my presentation in a way that was more engaging. So it really wasn't about what I was saying, but more about how I said it. Regardless of how I won, I won. In the end, I graciously rescinded my victory and I gave my prize back to the community. I have decided to expand this presentation and make it into an hour presentation. I submitted a session to SQL Saturday #49 in Orlando, FL. Hopefully it will get accepted.
Talk to you soon,
Patrick LeBlanc, SQL Server MVP, MCTS
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