Urgh….I meant to do this a lot earlier but I’ve had a crazy week since the AMITPRO meeting last week. I’ve got a back log of posts I want to put together but between holidays, hospitals and a couple of major client projects I’ve been at full tilt since then.
Anyway, back to the point!
Last time I spoke at an AMITPRO meeting I posted a brief “critique” of myself so I could figure out where I went right and wrong so I thought it was worth doing again.
First of all though a big thank you to everyone that attended!
We had a really great turn out and as well as our regular crowd there were a lot of new faces as well as appearances from some familiar faces we haven’t seen for a while. Thanks everyone for making the effort.
So what did I think?
Demo – Something I’d mentioned in my last critique was that I’d wanted to have a lot more structure in the demo itself. This was even more important subject matter and I’d used OneNote to great effect to give myself an outline to work against which meant everything went far more smoothly.
Speed – I didn’t quite feel as rushed as last time. By that I mean myself. I really did go through the demos quite quickly because I had a lot to try and do in a short space of time but I felt a lot more relaxed when speaking which will be down to experience and the fact it’s not the first time I’ve presented to the group.
Slides – Even though Guy very kindly made it look like I’d dropped the dreaded slides I had put together a very small deck that I didn’t get to use. I was still running the Office 2010 beta on my laptop and when I tried to open the file I got an error. Because I was literally minutes from speaking I just made the decision to drop them. When I checked it again afterwards it turned out I could have clicked through the error and used the slides. Which brings me onto my next point.
Organisation (1)– There had been a mix up at the venue about the room we’d booked and we were in a room for 10-15 with almost 30 people. I’d already started to setup in the smaller room when we needed to move. Also since I’m involved with the organisation of the event I had to help sort the new room, get everyone moved and setup again. I then ended up speaking first instead of second so I was in a massive rush to get started as we were now running late.
Organisation (2) – While the previous point was a little out of my control this wasn’t. I’d setup my demo on my home setup with the intention of copying it to my laptop I’d use on the day. On the morning of the meeting I took my virtual machines to the offices with intention of tweaking my machines and going over my notes. We had such a busy day at the office that it just didn’t work out that way.
At around half three I realised I needed to setup a scheduled task to make everything easier. However, my server machine was running like a dog and generally unresponsive. I’d run a couple of VM’s on my laptop before no problem but was now panicking. After a bit of investigation I found a couple of articles that indicated that laptop hardware can go into reign in the CPU when VMs are running as it thinks the system is actually idle (though I don’t know if this actually true!)
So in my panic I uninstalled Virtual PC 2007 and installed Windows Virtual PC so I could make a setting change that would overcome this. At the same time I totally forgot that the VM’s aren’t directly compatible so it was almost four thirty (i.e time to leave!) and I had no way to run the demo! I quickly got rid of Windows Virtual PC, loaded Virtual PC 2007 back up and left for the meeting.
On the way I realised in my rush I hadn’t copied my slide deck onto the laptop. Once at the meeting I had to fight a dodgy 3G signal to try and remote back to the office and grab the file. My intention was to get everything prepped while the other speaker was on but I ended up going on FIRST!
I was quite lucky in that other than the slides everything from a demo perspective went to plan.
The lesson to learn was that I should have included the actual laptop the demo would run from as part of demo build instead of just assuming it would all work as expected.
Thankfully I’d prepared my demo and notes in such a way that I was able to get back on track quickly even though I was quite flustered at the beginning
All in all I was pleased with how it went.
I still don’t think I’m a natural presenter but hopefully anyone who was there learning something. If they did then it was mission accomplished.
I got some very nice comments from people in attendance and via Twitter and e-mail the following day which were much appreciated.
There was a TON of stuff I’d actually prepared that I just didn’t even cover because of time and the fact I didn’t want to go on for too long and have everyone lose interest. I joked during the presentation that I can talk for HOURS about SharePoint but in all honesty I was being serious!