Monday, January 11, 2016

PASS Summit 2015 Speaker Idol "Round of Death"

Hi. I wanted to wait on my recap of this event until I had seen the video of my Speaker Idol session at PASS Summit 2015. I come on around 14:30.

Speaker Idol is purely a test of your presentation skills. Probably one of the most grueling tests because it is very difficult to cover a topic effectively in FIVE minutes. I also try to tell a story when I speak. So, in five minutes it has to be really concise. My topic was SQL Injection. Could you imagine what a disgruntled speaker could do with SQL Injection? Of course, this is all hypothetical. 

I thought beforehand that the eventual winner would have to do what a speaker does typically during a PASS Summit session. Talk, do a demo and wrap up. I also like speakers who throw in a few laughs along the way so I was hoping someone like that would win. No time for Q&A in this format so you are spared that part of the test. 

I used Office Remote for Android to control my PowerPoint 2016 deck. This is a very new phone app and it was the first time I had used it in a live session. I really like this app and will continue to use it but I do need to get better using it so that as the judges correctly indicated it doesn't become such a distraction.
This app basically gives you Presentation View on your phone and allow you to run your laptop in Duplicate Screen mode which minimizes the breaks when you switch between the deck and your demo tools. I did use ZoomIt successfully and I still have a few "umms" to eliminate. I could have formatted the code to be easier to read but that would have revealed the punch line at the end of my presentation. Finally, I wish I had found that sound cord to plug into my laptop for my ending because I though AC-DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top" was a fun way to end for Speaker Idol. I had gone into the room more than once to check out the tech layout but didn't find that cord. 

The judges' comments were very helpful for all the rounds and it will definitely help me to improve as a speaker. I'm hoping the exposure I got at Speaker Idol will help me get selected for next year's PASS Summit. 

My Speaker Idol round should now be called the "Round of Death" because the eventual winner and runner-up were in it. Congratulations to David Maxwell for his well deserved victory. I think he will do a great job next year.

I'm glad I did Speaker Idol but I have to say the normal abstract process is the less stressful way to go if you want to speak at PASS Summit. 

Happy New Year!

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