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.
- 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 :)