Firstly thank you to the SQLBits team and Microsoft for putting on the Speaker Training yesterday and particularly Simon Sabin and Guy Smith-Ferrier. It was a great day only marred by the awful traffic conditions getting there and back. Even though I spent six hours in a car there are still some things I can remember so it must have been good.
There were two highlights for me:
- The critics of our own presentations
- The ‘How to Give Great Demos’ session
The critics of our own presentations, there was a good balance between not crushing our egos and giving us something to work on.
The ‘How to Give Great Demos’ session
I had to laugh at this because about the first Guy said was “don’t, whatever you do, use a laser pointer”. Earlier this year I was presenting at Microsoft Cambridge and it was suggested that I needed a laser pointer as the screen was huge and I am use to training rooms where I can point to the screen.
He had good reasons and now I have been told I’ll start playing with Zoomit, as suggested.
Other pearls of wisdom were:
- Introduce the context of the demo
- Demo code is not production code, just the code to make the point
- Don’t apologise that it is not production code and get on with the demo
- Show the finished product so they know where you are going (unless you want to surprise them)
- Keep the audience informed when you are typing
- Slow the mouse down so it is clear what steps you are taking
- Don’t use tools that aren’t part of the standard product e.g. Resharper
- After the demo have a slide with the one thing you want to get across in the demo
- Record the demo as a fall back, perhaps you need an internet connection and that isn’t guaranteed
- Make code Lucida Console and set the size to 14 or 16
- Increase the DPI (maybe)
- Set the default highlight to Black text and yellow background
- Set the screen resolution to the project size you are going to use 2 weeks before the presentation
- Create a user on your laptop with all these settings
- Dave McMahon radically suggested developing all the demos on the laptop so you know they will fit