Monday, 25 September 2017

This is not an easy Job

According to Leading Clever People by Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones 

"If clever people have one defining characteristic, it is that they do not want to be led"

Well that is how I feel about my role in the EOUC Short Talks at Oracle Open World.

This year we have:

     EOUC Database ACES Share Their Favorite Database Things
     Sunday, Oct 01, 10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
     Marriott Marquis (Golden Gate Level) - Golden Gate C1/C2

Then we will have the Dev Champion speakers who have 6 minutes each to tell us what it is they do:

     EOUC Developer Champions Show the Cool Tech They Use

     Sunday, Oct 01, 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
     Marriott Marquis (Golden Gate Level) - Golden Gate C1/C2

It may seem that it is an easy job, get a few people to talk about something they know inside out, create a few slides and then the fun of keeping them to time on the day.

It isn't. I send a survey out and ask if they want to speak and to confirm this slot doesn't give them a ticket to OOW, they have to be attending anyway and that they will provide the slides on time.

This is when the definition of an EMEA speaker gets tested, I have had "I'm an honour member of such and such user group" from American ACEs. I guess it shows how much people want to be part of this, but I have to weed them out.

Then I start on scheduling and accepting, and at this point you can guarantee someone appears from the woodwork and says they didn't see the survey or some other excuse. I want to be all inclusive so I try hard. 

Once I tell them they are in I give a deadline to get the presentations in and this year everyone made it on time, the first year ever I have not had to publicly name and same. Dr Frank Munz was last but even he had 61 minutes to spare! Julien Dontcheff was first.

In previous years I have suggested no more than 10 slides, they only have 5-6 minutes, but that caused me no end of problems so I just ask them to remember that. Lonneke Dikmans won this challenge she only had 4 slides but Oren Nakdimon has 26!

Then the size of the files, some love pictures, there are a couple of Gifs and a video. Again not surprisingly Lonneke has the smallest file but Frank has a whopping 31.4 MB, and 3 are over 10 MB.

I did send them a sample slide for their first one, to introduce themselves. Funny how many didn't manage that, including Heli Helskyaho who has been doing this for years. No excuses Heli.

Then there are those who insist on their own layout, which means I have to copy their master into my consolidated deck. Yes I have to consolidate them or we wouldn't get through the presentation on time. It has to be slick.

One set of slides that were excellent however used a non standard font so didn't work on my PC. Why did that very clever presenter not think of that? 

So now I have 2 slide decks and hopefully on the day it will work. I have another projector for the countdown clock and with Ralf at my side as the most experienced timekeeper let's hope it all goes well.

Hope to see you there.

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