Present at SQL Saturday

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the SQL Saturday 386 leadership and the army of volunteers they brought along. It was a very well run event. The venue was nice, everything was very well organized, the people were amazingly helpful and friendly, and it made the perfect place for me to turn my presentation up a notch. It’s amazing how much of a calming effect can be felt when you are surrounded by such an inviting and amazing group of people. That’s really something that I love about the SQL Server community in general.

I was slated to speak in the final slot (3:30 - 4:45), so I had pretty much all of my day to play attendee. I attended some really great sessions and as always, learned some things along the way (SQL Saturday’s are cool that way). Time flew by and before I knew it, it was 3:15. I watched Edward Pollack (t) present on Dynamic SQL (an excellent presentation by the way), which just so happened to be the same room where I was going to present, so I was already where I needed to be to set up.

It didn’t take me long to get setup. I’d been through this presentation dozens of times; I knew it front to back, inside out and upside down; I can safely say that I was well prepared on this day.

@3:30 PM : “Hello everyone and welcome to Introduction to SQL Server Automation with PowerShell. My name is Chris Sommer and here is a brief agenda of what I am going to talk about over the next hour…”

Honestly, the 75 minutes that I presented were a bit of a blur. I didn’t have any major hiccups with the slides or the demos. I broke rule #1 of giving demos a number of times (Demo Rule #1: Never type in a demo). I fielded a ton of really good questions, most of which I had answer for, but some I didn’t. I think questions are the one thing that can throw you off if you’re not really prepared, but I felt that they actually added content and to my overall presentation. It was comforting to know that people were listening and interested enough in what I was saying to ask questions.

Before I knew it, it was 4:45 and my presentation was done. I had a number of people stop down to the podium to ask some more specific questions, which was awesome. I got a stack of speaker evaluations with some really helpful suggestions for me. Most were along the lines of “MOAR SQL DEMOS” and reflecting a bit on my presentation I can understand the comments. They were’t bad comments, just thoughts on how I could improve. Feedback is a HUGE part of improving your presentation and now I already have some great ideas on how to do that.

And that was pretty much the gist of my day and my first SQL Saturday session. I want to once again thank all of the leadership and volunteers that came out to make SQL Saturday #386 such a wonderful event. Without you, well, we wouldn’t have an event at all. I want to thank my fellow speakers for the positive support and for the encouragement while I made this goal become a reality. And last but certainly not least, I want to thank everyone who attended SQL Saturday #386, especially those who attended my session. Without you I’d just be talking to myself up there. For those of you interested, my presentation and demos have been uploaded to My Session Page on the SQL Saturday website.

A final parting thought: Everyone has something to share. Yes. Everyone. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea or presenting, or thought speaking would be something you’d like to try, then do it. Believe me when I say, there are people out there who are interested in what you have to say. Yes, you! So get out there and try it, it is such a rewarding experience.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I have to head out for a run…

See also