It’s time for our monthly blogging party, commonly known as T-SQL Tuesday. This month, Bob Pusateri is providing the motivation by selecting the topic, and he would like to know how we came to love presenting. Being the inquisitive type, Bob would like to know things like what was the first time you gave a presentation in front of a group and really enjoyed it? Was it something that was required of you in school? Something you did in the workplace? Were you inspired by other SQL community members and thought “I think I can do that too”?
In the past, a few decades ago, I used to serve in the US Navy. In the division that I was in, we had to do training for the entire division. And this is when I first had to present. This was definitely something that I was required to do, and I never enjoyed it. Even though I knew the material extremely well, I was always very nervous and flailed about miserably. Talks that should have lasted an hour I sped through in around a half-hour. I think people there enjoyed watching me be so nervous.
A few years back, I started getting heavily involved in SQL Server Central, and writing articles for them. One article was born out of a curiosity of why table variables and temporary tables had massively different performance results. This article became extremely popular, and it was suggested to me that I create a presentation based upon this article. So, with a lot of prodding from SQL friends and mentors, I did. After getting it ready, I practiced it day after day, before finally presenting it to my local user group. With my past history, I was very nervous… maybe even terrified. And guess what… it went very smoothly. But what I enjoyed the most was when I saw the light go on in some of the attendees eyes. I knew that I had reached them, that they understood, and most importantly, that they had learned something. And I found out that I enjoy watching others learn. In the last couple of years, I’ve presented this topic twenty different times, including last year at PASS, and I have also created two other presentations that I present to user groups and SQL Saturdays.
After discovering how much I’ve enjoyed presenting and helping / seeing others learn, I can see myself in a few years possibly going into a training mode. Will this happen? I’m not sure, but it is a possible path that I might take in the future. It sure would be a crazy irony to be doing something that previously I was so terrified of.
So that’s my presenting background… what’s yours?