Presentation Goals For 2017

In light of my 2016 goals, I’ve decided to make my 2017 speaking goals a little bit more ambitious and keep them public. To wit:

Speak at 20 SQL Saturday and 10 User Groups

Last year, I broke both of these barriers, so you might wonder how this is particularly ambitious. The way I figure it, when combined with the other goals, getting out to 20 separate SQL Saturdays will be a bit harder, as there are only so many weeks (and weekends) in the conference season.

So far, I am locked into three SQL Saturdays: Nashville, Vienna, and Cleveland.

Speak at 2 Paid Conferences

Last year, my goal was to speak at one paid conference. This year, I’m pushing it up to two. This is a harder goal than SQL Saturday-related goals mostly because paid conferences usually mean travel during the week, and being in management—even as low a level of management as I’m in—makes that a little harder.

Give 6 Webinars

Here’s the big one for me. I have presented two webinars to date. Webinars are an area I have neglected in the past, focusing instead on in-person presentations. Speaking in person is a bit easier than giving a webinar for a few reasons. First, you get to warm up the audience before the session, priming them for a good talk. You also get to see how well the material is going over: if they’re laughing at your jokes and looking interested, you know you’re in the groove; if they seem confused, you can slow down and repeat things.

Without those kinds of audience cues, I want to create more of a subdued webinar experience. My goal is still to be educational and entertaining (to some extent, at least!), but I have stripped out some of the humor. I haven’t figured out how exactly to replace those gaps entirely smoothly, so that’s going to be part of my goal. After all, if I end up being terrible at webinars, I probably won’t hit my goal of 6!

Do A Full-Length, Pictures-Only Talk

I created a couple lightning talks this year which incorporate hand-drawn pictures, stealing the idea from David Neal, who does a much better job at it than I do. Regardless, I like the format and would like to do an entire talk in that style. It’s a bit of a risk, as I really want to do everything—including demos—in hand-drawn picture format. I think it would be an interesting, one-off style.

This isn’t something that I would want to do for every talk, but as I go over the talks I have today, I know that I’m a bit short on graphics, and I know of several places in talks where a simple picture can help me explain the concept better. Maybe this talk would help me get to that point.

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2 thoughts on “Presentation Goals For 2017

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I just want to wish you the very best of luck with these goals. Great to see how much thought you have put into it.

    You can do it! Don’t let me down 😉

    Kevin O’Shaughnessy

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