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When Should You Start Speaking?

I know it’s daunting and a little intimidating, but there are so many people with knowledge to share. I see them answering questions, sharing knowledge, and being helpful to the community, so when are you ready to start speaking?

The answer probably varies, but what I’ve seen in many areas is that when you think you’re not learning much from hearing other people speak, you are ready to give your own presentation.

There are other things you need to learn, how to present effectively, communicate, not die of stage fright, etc., and those are skills to develop, but the hard one, the knowledge, is something many of you already have.

Most people want to be an expert in a topic, but the reality is that you don’t need to be. You just need to be organized, brave enough to stand up, and willing to try.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by RBarryYoung on 22 February 2010

I love speaking.  In fact it's my favorite of the communication activities usually aspiring "experts".

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 22 February 2010

Some are cut out for it, some aren't.  An interesting TV ad is running that says "if you wouldn't do it in person, don't do it online."  Bravery seems to step up when there is some anonymity involved.  Beyond bravery, a lot of organization can offset the fear.

I enjoy speaking, I also enjoy sharing the opportunity.

Posted by Jack Corbett on 22 February 2010

Love the last paragraph.  If I waited until I felt like an expert I'd never speak.  I actually use speaking/writing to help me BECOME an expert.

Posted by Steve Jones on 22 February 2010

It definitely isn't for everyone, but if you're becoming comfortable with your knowledge, I'd urge you to consider it.

Posted by Steve Jones on 22 February 2010


I think you're well on your way to being one of the people that is considered a SQL Server expert

Posted by jcrawf02 on 23 February 2010

I've been considering submitting a session for SQLSaturday, and although I am definitely not an expert, I've been poring over what I do know and could put together. More about where/how to find info than being an oracle of truth, per se. Thought is that if I start speaking at all, it's a good thing. (do a lot of internal speaking/training for my group, but nothing external yet)

Posted by Steve Jones on 23 February 2010

If you are doing them internally, give one at a local SQL Server, or .NET user group. See how it goes over and you can expand from there.

Posted by Andy Corley on 24 February 2010

Here's a great quote that Buck Woody referred to on his blog. This is totally relevant to the topic being discussed here:

"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it." - Theodore Roosevelt

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