Writing a new conference presentation


At the weekend I put together two new talks. One is a session for a local University, which I will blog about when it is confirmed. The other is a new conference presentation called “Pluggable Databases : What they will break and why you should use them anyway!”, which I will be presenting at Oracle Midlands Event #8 and OUG Ireland 2015.

I find the process of putting together a new conference presentation quite daunting. I have an abundance of material to draw from, but the difficult thing is deciding on a specific message and finding the best way to deliver it with a suitable amount of impact. I don’t know how other people approach it, but I usually do something like this…

  1. Write down bullet points and just talk about them out loud, trying to get a feel for what I can say about them. Almost like I’m in a conversation with someone about it.
  2. From that stream of conciousness, I try to pull out the points that I think others will care about.
  3. Put some slides together with some relevant information on them. If there are demos, sort those out too.
  4. Run through the talk several times as if I were doing it for real.

At that point, I feel like I’m in a position to make a judgement about how I think it is working out. Sometimes you have to throw it away and start again. Sometimes you realise your emphasis is off target and you need to adjust your focus somewhat. Sometimes you don’t notice this until you are in front of a real crowd, as described here.

So for the next few weeks I have the mildly mind-numbing task of running through this stuff and “polishing” it, so hopefully it will be alright on the day.




Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

4 thoughts on “Writing a new conference presentation”

  1. Hi Tim 🙂
    Is there any link where you uploaded some of your presentation videos?
    I will be very glad to see them.
    Thought of to ask you about this long back. In youtube I found very short videos of your presentation.


  2. Praveen: It’s something I’ve thought of doing for some time, but I’ve never got round to it. Maybe soon I will start releasing some stuff. 🙂

    Nearly all of my talks are either based on existing articles, or I write an article to back the talk, so the information is out there, just not in video form.



  3. Hi Tim- Thanks for your efforts in maintaining this site. It has been quite useful to many.

    A question out of curiousity- in all your articles you link to the Oracle documentation at the end. I assume you will always attempt to give something in your article that is not available in Oracle docs. Are there any specific areas that you target in your articles to make it better than the Oracle docs? For example, I think the examples in your articles are better than the docs. But, it would be good to hear from you.

  4. Mukundhan: I try to present the information in a form that I can understand it and use it quickly. That is why the examples I use are small and directed. The documentation is massive and contains lots more information than I include, but a lot of that information is not necessary for the day-to-day job. I try and cut things down to the minimum.

    I link to the documentation because I think it is important people read it, but you don’t need to read the whole of the CREATE TABLE syntax each time you want to create a table. 🙂

    Remember also, the site started and continues to be primarily a learning tool and knowledge base for me. The fact other people like it is great, but that is not its primary function. It’s more of a happy coincidence.



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