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…
- 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.
- From that stream of conciousness, I try to pull out the points that I think others will care about.
- Put some slides together with some relevant information on them. If there are demos, sort those out too.
- 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.