TechGate Conference - Speaking Review ~ My blog about Active Directory and everything else

Monday, September 17, 2012

TechGate Conference - Speaking Review

I spoke at the TechGate conference sponsored by Microsoft this weekend.  My topic was new Active Directory features in Windows Sever 2012.

I first want to thank Andy and DeLise from Microsoft.  The Microsoft facilities were outstanding and we were treated well. This was my first speaking engagement at a conference like this and I'm honored that they allowed me to speak.  I know they had a lot of people that wanted slots and glad I was selected for one of the featured slots.

The room was packed and some people had to stand.   There were some lessons learned on my part that I want to share for others that may be starting out on their speaker journey.  I would also love to hear tips from others that have been doing this for a while.

Lessons Learned

  • 50 minutes is not enough time to give a talk with demos about Active Directory features in Windows 2012.  I should have either cut out sections or not attempted demos.  I definitely rushed a bit at the end.
  • The crowd was about 80 percent developers/those not familiar with AD and 20 percent were IT pros that knew AD.  I let that fluster me for the first few slides.  When I asked how many people are familiar with dcpromo and only 4 people raised their hands I was thinking "oh shit" in my head....once I got over that I was fine.
  • I tried to switch between the PowerPoint presentation view (slides with notes on my laptop monitor and slide show on projector) and the duplicate screens (for the demos).  Next time I will just use duplicate screens at all times and have my notes on the side.
  • Dynamic Access Control is a great feature but I can tell that it's going to take a lot time for IT Pros to understand and "get it".  I might try and present 50 minutes just on that feature next time...but that might not be enough time either.
  • Thanks to the lady in the back, the MCS engineer and a few others that did have a good working knowledge of AD...the questions and back and forths with you all was great.  
  • I have seen speakers at other conferences having conversations after their talks in the hallways.  That happened to me too.  That was great, met some really great and enthusiastic people.  
  • Thanks to my co-workers Shumbey, Nate, and Kurt for coming.
  • Thanks to my AD buddies (Mark especially) who sat through some dry runs.

Overall I give myself a B-  I learned a lot and hope to go back in the spring.  Someday I want to be as good as Dean Wells (he had the #1 talk at TechEd North America 2012)....I know that won't happen but it is a good goal to strive for :)


  1. Well done, Mike.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks a lot Sander! Your blog series on the new AD features in 2012 is outstanding!! See you at the MVP summit in Feb.

    2. I was the MCS engineer in the back. And I disagree with yourself grade. You where at least a letter grade higher. My wife who is a communications professor and grades presentations all the time would have given you an A.

      I very much enjoyed the presentation and learned a lot.

    3. THANK YOU!! Your comment has really made my day, glad you liked the presentation. I'll send the slide deck over (received your email)

      Hope to see you at TechGate in the spring.

  2. Are you able to share the PowerPoint presentation ?