Sunday, 22 March 2015

Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance - my tale of woe


Not really an excuse but when it is your conference, you don't have time in the run up to 'polish your slides', so my top tip, Never agree to a new presentation at you own event, stick to one you are happy with so you can simply switch on the projector and go.

Great advice, wish I had listened to it.

Thursday in Ireland I had two presentations, the first was a great slide deck, it was Jeremy Ashley's slide deck for Cloud User Experiences, Trends & Strategy first seen at OOW14. As an Oracle User Experience Advocate I had been asked on behalf of Jeremy's team to present this. Slides were great, I'm passionate about the subject and I think the session went well.

My second session however went less so. UKOUG have set up a Cloud Forum, to help members who are now Cloud Customers share their experiences of the Cloud, not so much the functionality but what it is like to be a Cloud Customer, and I submitted a paper on that. Great idea, I also do this in my day job, so lots of ideas, what could go wrong?

In the run up to Dublin, I had a conference in Norway, different sessions, blog postings to do for Oracle, Profit Magazine, Oracle Scene and O Tech articles to complete, the day job (which I love), and all the preparation for the Ireland event itself where I was project lead. So whilst the session was in my head it wasn't on slides. By Monday evening panic was setting in and all day Tuesday I was at the UKOUG Tech 15 kick off. This was down to the wire.

Then I remembered my boss had a presentation he had done at Apps 2014 in Liverpool, and the content in that would be a great start. I had the PDF version, decided which slides I wanted to keep, and when he sent it over, it was simply a cut & paste job. I told myself it would be fine, I knew what I wanted to say.

Roll forward to Thursday, brilliant event, great high and I'm the last session before the keynotes. I walked into the room, there was a good crowd but sat at the back were the two keynote speakers, both great friends, Nadia Bendjedou, EBS, and Maria Colgan, Database in-Memory. Their work actually overlaps a fair bit, Nadia works on that technology side of the house for Cliff Godwin, but they had never met. So I introduced them and got ready for my session. Nadia has seen me present before but I don't think Maria has.

I could say I was nervous, having two such luminaries in the room, but to be honest I wanted to impress them, that you can share valuable information with an audience without being technical. I like to wander along my script with stories from members and customers, share analogies they will understand and try and get it to be interactive.

It was a disaster. Not the content, not the stories, but my delivery of the slide deck. I hadn't run in through in view mode and it was full of screen building which I never use. I wonder around the room and don't use a 'clicker' either. it completely threw me. All my fault, as they say in the army, Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

I'm giving the same session in Holland on Tuesday so I hope I will do better, I must do better, the only person I let down was myself.

1 comment:

Paul Carlin said...

you know it will be better. its prior proper planning prevents .... good luck 2 u!