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.