Louis Davidson has put together an interesting post on some of the issues that he had encountered with one of his talks at the recent SQL Saturday in Columbus,OH (#sqlsat42). It’s almost too bad…..I have run into the same types of initial crowds too…unresponsive…no one awake. God! How I dread them….after all , aren’t we there to have a ‘little’ fun!

That’s normally why for my presentations, I tend to focus on demos and showing people ‘how’ something works. Another thing I like doing is polling my audience at the beginning of the presentation and then depending on who is there, I tailor it to the occasion. This might not work for everyone as a lot of people are not like me and tend to want to ‘stick to the script’. But I can think of 2 occasions where it really paid off well.

  • SQL Saturday Chicago : Reporting Services 2008 talk. Got a lot of people talking to me after the presentation…telling me how good it was. The thing I remember though is that one older gentleman came up to me and said “I haven’t been this excited about reporting since RPG.”. What was sad is that I know what he is talking about but nonetheless this made it a successful presentation.
  • Indy Microsoft/Oracle Back-to-School Event: I gave what was supposed to be an intermediate presentation on the new features of Silverlight 2.0 except when I did my poll ……NO ONE WAS USING IT! Anyhow, I changed the presentation into an introductory Silverlight course and actually during one of the demos…doing 2-D perspective rendering….I used the movie intro to WoW Burning Crusade and rotated it around the screen with some sliders while it continues playing. They loved it and I actually got a round of applause.

So I have to say to Louis though ‘I fell for you brother’ but he can’t let it bring him down too much. Check out his article here for the specifics of how it went for him….

http://sqlblog.com/blogs/louis_davidson/archive/2010/06/27/a-problem-i-must-solve-about-speaking.aspx

Cheers,
AJ