Well, that went surprisingly better than I had worried it would. Thanks to all the people at DDD9 who came and sat through my talk on the HTML5 Boilerplate project. You were very nice and thanks to all those who gave and hopefully will send me feedback to improve it for future renditions.
The slides are here : http://blog.hmobius.com/file.axd?file=DDD9Slides.zip
Other sites I mentioned include:
I’m happy to say that my latest talk, “Learning from the HTML5 Boilerplate” has had enough votes cast in its favour for me to present it at DDD9, which takes place at Microsoft UK on Jan 29. It looks like a great set of sessions has been lined up for the event and while all the tickets have initially been taken, no doubt some will drop out so get your name on the wait list quickly! See you there.
On Monday I gave a presentation at my local user group and I know I can do better. I know this every time I do it. Here’s my post mortem then on what went well and what didn't.
- Have Enough Material
Make sure you know how long your session is and have enough material for it. Keep an eye on the clock as you go through the session so you can speed up or add a bit more material as required. If you over-run, know where you can stop early and skip to the conclusion.
- Take Backups of Everything
If you're doing demos, be prepared in case the demo gods are angry and decide to throw you a curveball. Save a copy of your code as it needs to be at the start of the demo and as it should look at the end of the demo. Then take separate copies on a USB stick as well in case your laptop dies on you. If you're using VS snippets take a back up of those as well. After connecting to the projector last night, my copy of VS decided I had never run it before and reset itself. Oh that I had taken a backup of those settings and snippets.
- Projectors are not your friend
- If possible, find out in advance what resolution the projector being used prefers and try running your presentation and demos in that resolution. Last night's projector gave a 4:3 image while my display is 16:9 resulting in a rather squashed look on my mirrored display in favour of the attendees having the better picture.
- Make sure your demos can be shown without too much scrolling in the resolution you'll be using
- Also check in advance what connections the projector uses. The user group should be able to cover it, but it never hurts to be prepared with your own cables.
- Get There Early And Get Comfortable
- Make sure you are comfortable with your setup before you start. Get there early, set up and run through a quick demo to make sure nothing untoward has happened in transit.
- Don't be surprised if something does go wrong in a demo, but know in advance how to get out of it if something untoward should happen. Know that you can get yourself back on track (you did take backups of your demo code didn't you?)
- Pack a USB keyboard light in case, like me last night, you find yourself trying to type purely by the light of your display.
- Be Positive
Don't be too negative unless that's part and parcel of your presentation.
- Don’t Let The floor Lead You
Know your subject well enough to field questions from the floor but don't be afraid to ask your interrogator to come and talk after the session if the answer would hold up your talk or digresses from it, else you’ll over-run.
I hope you find these points useful when you have a go and present a session yourself.
Saturday morning saw the second free WebDD conference take place. Amongst the presentations, Mike Ormond and Alex Mackey spoke on things forthcoming in .NET 4.0, Sebastien Lambla spoke at a rate of knots about MVC best practices despite his computer blue-screening mid-presentation, and I introduced those interested to IIS 7.0 Extensions, the Lightweight Test Framework, the new ASP.NET Chart Control and the History State and Script Combining features of the ScriptManager. The code and slides for this presentation can be found here and via the downloads page.
Thanks to Dave and to Phil for setting up WebDD, the speakers, attendees and MS event staff for giving up their Saturday to make this a great event and finally to Janey for coming to support me while I tried not to um or ah too much through my first presentation. If you’ve any feedback for me on how I went, let me know or twitter it using the #webdd tag.
Woot! I’ve been invited to give my first full presentation at WebDD ’09 on April 18. I’ll be giving the talk “ASP.NET 3.5 – Miss Something?” in which I’ll look at the out of band ASP.NET-related releases that Microsoft have made since they first dropped ASP.NET 3.5. Charts, Browser History plug-ins, IIS plug-ins, Service Pack 1 and more.
Can’t wait for the event. Hopefully I’m not speaking at the same time as Barry. I’d really like to see his talk.