First, the venue/crowd. It was held at the Berbee office in Brecksville as usual, although most likely for the last time. Sam Nasr, who coordinates this SIG, is leaving Berbee so will be looking for a new location (if you want to host it contact him through the site above). The room was fine although it looked like we were about at max capacity for the room with around 30-35 people. Pizza was a little late but no one seemed to mind, at least not that I noticed. It also got a little warm but with that many people in a small room that is to be expected. And they were all staring at me, so maybe I was the only one warm.
This month at the Cleveland C#/VB.NET SIG the presentation was Silverlight 2 in ASP.NET presented by well, me. This was my first time giving a presentation like this in a long time so I was a tad nervous that day. Ok, more than a tad, I was VERY nervous. I felt like my presentation was weak and that I wasn't ready to give it. I may be my harshest critic (at least I hope so) and in thinking about it later I definitely have some things to work on, but overall I think people learned a lot from the presentation. I actually surprised myself with the number of questions that I actually knew the answer to, and there were a lot of questions. Lots of questions.
What did I do wrong?
- I was unorganized
- I had notes to keep me on track but didn't follow them
- I let questions derail me
- I would go too deep into an explanation and had a hard time getting back on track
- I didn't prove my thesis
- I don't know that anyone noticed this until I pointed it out over beer.
The good part about everything that went wrong is that I know how to fix it. Practicing in front of real people will help quell the nerves and let me pay attention to my notes. Practice will also help me handle off-the-wall questions better. A small change in my slides and a more focused demo will prove the thesis better.
Overall the feedback I've been getting from people is that is was a very good presentation. Personally I know I have a lot of room to improve, but you have to start somewhere.
P.S. Go register for Cleveland Day of .NET, I'll be posting some exciting updates about that event soon.