Blog Post

The Wise Old Man Part 2


In my previous post The Wise Old Man Part 1 I wrote about a great session I attended during SQL Saturday #8 in Orlando by Steven Jones.  This session was all about building your brand and making yourself stand out among other IT professionals.  The session influenced me enough to write a series of blogs about it.

If you read the last post I was working on increasing my writing in blogs, forums and articles.  In this post I want to write about public speaking that I have already done and ways I can improve my public speaking. 

I feel like I’ve already got a good start speaking with 2 sessions at SQL Saturday Jacksonville, 1 Jacksonville SQL Server User Group meeting, and 1 session at SQL Saturday Orlando.  Also, in November I will be lucky enough to co-present a session at PASS with my brother.  Not bad for just my second year of consulting. 

I really enjoy teaching others what I’ve learned.  It’s always nice to have an audience that is actually interested in what you have to say and actually want to get something out of what you have to share.  There’s always the first 5 minutes of jitters but once I can get that first laugh out of the audience it’s smooth sailing from there.  I’ve found that teaching others no matter how elementary the topic can be a huge confidence booster as well. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that anyone can do it.  Those beginning in IT can talk about something as simple as making the transition from their prior profession to an IT profession.  There are many who just want to know how to get started and if you share your experiences it could genuinely help.  Of course there will be nerves but it’s worth getting your name recognized as knowledgeable in something.

Now back to improving myself in speaking.  During one of my speaking events my brother wrote several comments about things I could do to improve my public speaking.  During one of the conferences he attended there was a public speaking coach that gave him tips that he was now sharing with me. 

  1. Use a story as an analogy to your presentation, this will keep the audience interested (I’ve learned I need to put pictures in my slides to remind me to keep referring back to my story)
  2. Make sure to open with strong interaction with audience
  3. Relate to topic with experiences you’ve had
  4. When someone asks a question repeat the question out load before answering
  5. Make sure to ask questions of you audience to maintain interaction throughout your speech
  6. Use tools like Zoom-It to make sure the entire audience can see your screen from the back of the room.

I’m sure there are more tips then this but these really applied for me.

Often you can find great technical public speaking classes offered by Andy Warren from End-to-End Training.  This could really help those who still have nerves about sharing their ideas in public. 

I’ll continue writing about my progress and here are some of my other steps that I’ll write about in the future.

    1.  WritingBuilding blog pipeline, thinking of article topic, and start answering forum questions
    2.  SpeakingPast Speaking Events: SQL Saturday Jax, SQL Saturday Orlando, and JAX User Group Meeting
    Future Speaking Events: PASS Nov. 19th
    3.  LeadingFind ways to be a thought leader (come up with great ideas)
    4.  VolunteeringFind ways to not only volunteer to be a speaker but volunteer in setting up events.  The backbone of events seem to be volunteers working behind the scenes doing things like getting food for 250 people.