Blog Post

PASS Speaker Idol 2015 – Todd Kleinhans


To All-

I am truly grateful I have been selected for this unique contest:

Good luck to all of my fellow Speaker Idol contestants and thanks to Denny Cherry and others for making this happen!

Some words of wisdom I would like to share with my fellow contestants- while it might feel like you have been thrust into a deadly contest aka #SQLHungerGames, this is an individual competition.

So don’t think about how you need to beat everyone else and survive as the last person standing even though that may very well be on your conscious and some people might even approach it that way.

Just be the best YOU that YOU can be. In five minutes.

Bring your best A-game and practice. A lot. Twelve performances can fit in one hour. Record yourself if you can. Practice and hit 100 before the competition. I know that I will.

Most of us will be presenting something we have already presented on before. This isn’t playing it safe, it is going with what we know cold like the back of our hands.

Win the judges and the audience and be yourself while doing it. Don’t be fake or try to be something you are not.

Be like General Maximus Decimus Meridius from the movie Gladiator- just do the best you can but with a little bit of flair.

Be memorable! You don’t want to be part of a long blur. You don’t want to sell the steak, you want to sell the sizzle!

Leave it all out on the stage, in their minds eye and in their hearts. Taking a thought exercise to the extreme: If you knew the future of your SQL career counted on this one and ONLY performance, how hard would you push yourself to do well?

Take it #UpToEleven.

So am I throwing all of my cards on the table for the world to see?


If I am going to be beaten, I want to be beaten fair and square.

To quote the Heavy Metal band #IronMaiden from their album Piece of Mind, “If your gonna die, Die With Your Boots On!!!”

Let me tell you my plans for #SQLIdolorBust

Between now and October 28th 2015, I will be working hard on my presentation. Ever since I threw my name in the mix I have been thinking about how can I dramatically improve on what I have already done?

How can I do something different and break the mold of technical presentations?

You will just have to come and see. But I will give you a hint: it will be a #mindpalace using a video game engine and we are going to walkthrough the Life Cycle of a Query in Virtual Reality.

One could consider myself the luckiest contestant. Why? Because of dumb luck I get to go first. I don’t have anything to worry about the previous “act”. But does that really matter?

Since this is an individual competition, no I don’t think it matters that much. The best person will rise to the top anyway.

I will say that I am going to “bring the house” and I hope to knock it out of the park. Or I will fail while daring greatly

Everything that I am and know how to do I will shoehorn into the precious five minutes that I have been given. And hope to repeat it and improve on it before the final performance in the last round and win!

I love my #SQLFamily and I want to see everyone shine. Choose to make this a bright moment in your life and in the lives of everyone who sees you at #Summit15.

Best Regards,



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