Choosing a Presentation Tool

If your New Year’s resolution is to start presenting at user groups and conferences, congratulations! You’re about to embark on a fulfilling journey that will enrich the lives of thousands of people. It’s a blast. Now let’s put some thought into the tool you’re going to use. You’re going to be working on these same…
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How We Write

The four of us were talking about the writing tricks we use, and we thought you might enjoy hearing our styles. How Brent Writes I use to track my blog post ideas.  I can use it from anywhere via a web browser, phone app, whatever.  I can tell when I’m in the mood to…
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What a good lookin' crowd.

PASS Summit Feedback: Top Ten AGAIN!

#SQLPass, SQL Server
Wow. Just wow. I’m totally humbled to say that my sp_Blitz® session and my AlwaysOn Availability Groups session were both voted among the best ten sessions at the PASS Summit 2012 conference. The sp_Blitz® session felt like the best session I’d ever presented in my life. The room was jam packed full of people with…
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Conference Speakers – Check Your Room Size

When you’re speaking at a conference, try to get the room schedules long before the event day.  Right now, the PASS Summit conference schedule is available, and each speaker’s room is listed. Then, check out the building’s floorplan – in this case, the Washington State Convention Center’s floorplans page.  Check out the seating capacity for…
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One of my early presentations

Define Your Presentation’s Attendee

Writing and Presenting
When I first started submitting abstracts to conferences, I wrote bland, technical descriptions of what I’d be talking about.  Later on, I thought being a good speaker meant having lots of people in my sessions, so I wrote spammy abstracts: “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!  COME SEE THE MOSTEST SPECTACULAREST DISPLAY OF SKILLZ EVER!  EVERY SINGLE DATABASE…
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Dealing with Presentation Criticism

Writing and Presenting

I just had a champagne moment.

Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert) blogged about having these champagne moments in his life, times when he was almost-but-not-quite-ready to pop the champagne open because he still wanted to take things higher. My standards aren’t quite so high – I recognize certain achievements as being champagne-worthy, and this is one of ’em.

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How to Rehearse a Presentation

Writing and Presenting
Buck Woody (Blog – @BuckWoody) and I did a presentation at the PASS Summit called, “You’re Not Attractive, But Your Presentations Can Be.”  The audience asked a lot of good questions, and I wanted to recap some of ’em as blog posts.  The first one – and one of the most frequent questions I get…
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Typical Executive

Edward Tufte Wants to Change Everything

Several hours into Edward Tufte‘s day-long seminar on visual communications in Chicago, he revealed what he really hates about our communications tools. He briefly touched on the origin of the desktop with the Xerox Alto, a document-oriented computer.  He said that users didn’t see applications – they saw lists of documents, and they chose which…
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Who’s Your Target Audience?

When I write blog posts or presentations, I want to write posts that will impress people.  I want people to say, “Wow, that guy’s a rocket surgeon.  He really knows his stuff.  He’s working on the cutting edge.”  I’ve talked to other people who want to get started blogging or presenting, and they usually have…
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