Thursday, April 09, 2009

On Speaking ...

Web 2.0 was fantastic. I really enjoyed the talk, the audience was blooming wonderful and the conference exceptional. I was also overwhelmed by the audience that turned up to my talk at SYS-CON.

I was even described by a couple of people as a "presentation rockstar" - wow, thanks but unfortunately wrong.

I love speaking and I'll admit that I do a fairly reasonable job of it these days. It's such an honour and a pleasure to speak to my peers but it's a lot of hard work and physically draining. For your average 40 minute talk, you're talking 120 hours+ of solid work. Whilst, I normally mash-up one talk to the next, each modified version still takes 35+ hours to prepare. On top of this you can often add the agony of flights (12 hours+ in a cramped environment is my favourite), the fog of jetlag and all the usual exhaustion which goes with it.

However, it's all worth it just to hear a few people say how much they enjoyed the talk or how it helped them. Speaking is an opportunity to give something back and it's a delight to do so.

Unfortunately, I'm lousy at self promotion and hence I find it difficult to break into new conferences. If I was a "presentation rockstar" then it would be a different matter. This is why I often speak at the same conferences because at least I'm a known quantity.

So, I'm going to ask you for help. There's a conference coming up about cloud and I'm trying to convince the organisers that I can present, that I know my stuff and that I've been speaking about clouds (or what we used to call utility computing) & open source for a long time. This is not an easy task because I'm a relative unknown compared to many "cloud superstars". I need to convince them that I can really speak on this subject.

Hence, I'm asking you, if you've ever heard me speak, can you leave a comment about how you found the talk (good or bad) so I can at least say ... "this is what the community thinks".