SQL PASS Summit 2011 was a lot of fun. I reconnected with lots of people and met many more. I attended as many sessions as possible and learned new things. And I presented my first full length session at the SQL PASS conference.
I’ve been on stage at SQL PASS before– last year I gave a chalk talk and a lightning talk. And I’m a seasoned presenter from other events. However, giving a full session at SQLPASS is still something special and unique to me. That’s because I love the SQLPASS Summit as a conference.
How I Learned about the SQL PASS Summit
I first learned about this conference from production DBAs. My team of DBAs all knew about the conference, and it was an honor to get to attend. Each year they would each start bargaining with their management about how many people could go. Each DBA would negotiate not only for him or herself, but also for their peers: they believed that having more people attend made the whole team stronger and more knowledgable.
This year was my third SQL PASS Summit, and it was a great event. Each year I grow along with the conference, but I find there’s always material to challenge me.
What I Learned from Speaking: About the Audience
The audience at the SQLPASS Summit is full of smart people. They know a lot, and they can ask a lot of smart questions.
I prepared heavily for questions. I recommend doing this in three ways:
- Give your presentation to live audiences at least three times before the Summit, and pay close attention to questions and your timing;
- Study your slide decks and demos at least twice in the week before you present to make sure you are fresh on them;
- Re-read product documentation and the basics several days before you present.
- Check your time occasionally and make sure you’re on track;
- Remember to smile sometimes — smiling makes you feel more confident and able to enjoy the moment. It also helps convey to the audience that you’re happy to be there and enjoying the presentation. This makes a real difference to the viewer!
How Was My Session?
My session was great. I was rocking an insidious cold last week, but my voice held up throughout my talk and I got lots of great questions and comments afterward. People kept eye contact with me while I was speaking, which was great. I was really honored to see tweets like these afterward:
Want to Learn More About My Session?
You can. Head on over to http://brentozar.com/go/dates