My First Technical Presentation

In school, you could always tell who the “Teachers” were, and I know what you are thinking—“Duh they’re the adults standing at the front of the class!” True, but it’s more than that. You could always distinguish the ones that truly loved what they did. To them it was about imparting knowledge, sharing experiences, and seeing the faces of students as a concept “clicked.” I got to experience that for the first time the other day.
I had been playing around with the idea of presenting at a local SQL Server Users Group but wasn’t sure I would enjoy it. I had done something like this before, once, and it wasn’t all that great. A year or two ago, I volunteered for a program where you go to a school and talk about being a business professional. The lesson plans were all laid out for me with all the materials. This should be a breeze, right? Well, let’s just say it didn’t go as well as I hoped. So as you can imagine, I was unsure if it was that I didn’t enjoy teaching or if I just had a bad experience. I was a little apprehensive about just jumping in with both feet into presenting at a local Users Group, so when my supervisor came to me a couple of weeks ago and said “Ken, I like what you’re doing, and I would like for you to schedule a meeting to train us on some of the changes you have made and get all the DBAs on the same page,” I thought this would be a great way to test the waters again.
There is a saying that “The best way to learn is to teach.” Isn’t that the truth! Preparing for the meeting was great, I was learning so much about stuff I thought I already knew. It took a while, but I finally was prepared, or so I thought. When the meeting rolled around, I got to the meeting room fifteen minutes early, set up everything, and read through my notes. I felt pretty confident. During the meeting, I must have done everything wrong. I typed during my demo, I didn’t practice before hand, and I didn’t have a backup plan. Looking at those stats you may think that I had another bad experience, but you’d be wrong.
It was the exact opposite! I loved it. Despite the logistical issues, I enjoyed every minute. I enjoyed explaining things and seeing my coworkers’ faces as it “clicked.” It was such an amazing feeling to know that my peers were learning and taking nuggets of information with them that they can immediately use! If presenting is a drug, then I am addicted! I look forward to learning more about myself and SQL Server as I prepare for other presentations.