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T-SQL Tuesday #41 – Presenting and Loving It!


I started volunteering at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Since then, I've been assigned as a greeter, which means I spend most of my time giving directions and answering patrons questions about the collections. Over the years, I've done what I can to learn more about the collections by spending time in the galleries, attending lectures and reading.

When the museum opened the Modern Wing in 2009, the Volunteer Coordinator asked if I would be interested in giving tours of the new building. I jumped at the chance and set out to prepare myself. I put together a list of my favorite stories about the collection and spent time walking through the galleries, honing what I would say and timing myself.

The night of the first tour, I was nervous, thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. But as I introduced myself and started the tour, I realized I knew what I was talking about and the hours of practice were paying off.

Since then, I've led several dozen tours through different parts of the collections. Every one of them has been different, but they have all been a tremendous experience and I've learned something new every time.

At this point, you are probably asking yourself, "What does the Art Institute have to do with T-SQL Tuesday?" Well, it was a little over a year ago that I gave my first presentation on SQL Server. Like the Art Institute, it is a subject I love sharing my knowledge of. Since that first presentation, I've presented at two user groups and a SQL Saturday. I am presenting at SQL Saturday Chicago this week and at FoxPASS in June.

Each time I've presented, I have had a great time and learned something new. If you are interested in getting started, I would offer a few pieces of advice:

  • Present on a subject you are passionate about. Your love of the subject will come through.
  • Practice. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll be and the smoother things will go.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to learn the topic. You will be surprised how much you know when you get done.
  • Finally, don't get discouraged. While I've enjoyed every presentation I've done, there is always room for improvement. Ask your audience for feedback and use it to hone your skills. And take this advice from MidnightDBA (b|t) about comparing yourself to others.

Thanks to Bob Pusateri (b|t) and Adam Machanic (b|t) for giving me this opportunity to blog on T-SQL Tuesday.

  1. April 9, 2013 at 08:43

    Yep, I stress that all the time: as long as you are finding ways to practice, you’ll improve as a presenter. Nice post!

  1. April 26, 2013 at 07:43
  2. May 2, 2013 at 15:32

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