In my first blogpost, that I’ve written after dataMinds Connect 2021, I explained that I was really thinking about public speaking. What started as an idea became reality, even faster than I ever could imagine. How so?
After dataMinds Connect, I started to gather multiple ideas on topics that I would love to tackle during a session, actually I already started with a list a long time ago but I started to extend the shortlist. Since I’m very passionate about introducing additional tools into companies to support the growth of the team (in my case the BI team), I started to work on my first session abstract which would base the base for my first session: “Improving Team collaboration Using Database Projects and Azure DevOps”.
As soon as my first abstract was written and reviewed, I submitted it for the Call for Speakers of DataGrillen, an event hosted by Ben Weissman and William Durkin. For me, this event was the first in person multi-day event where I went to. Datagrillen is the ideal event to start speaking, especially because they host a “newcomer” track where newcomers are supported by a “seasoned” speaker.
So shortlist of ideas, CHECK! Abstract CHECK! Session submitted CHECK! Now, we need to be patient and wait, I can tell, as soon as the Call for Speakers closed, I was continiously checking my mailbox to see if I got accepted or rejected. Finally, the relief, I received confirmation that my session got selected. At this point, I was also was introduced to my mentor, Rob Sewell.
Awesome, my session got selected, in the days after I was just enjoying the approval email that I received. As soon as I realized that it was time to get started to build the presentation, I started by re-reading my abstract and started to create the slides that should support me when delivering my first presentation. As soon as the first rough version of my presentation was “ready” I contacted my mentor to have a first meeting.
During our first meeting, we walked through my presentation and precious feedback was given, minor things to check concerning font-sizes, consistency in slides, how to spice-up the presentation, when to schedule time for demo’s. After all these useful tips, the most valuable moment, surprise: My mentor asked me following question: “Can you please present the first couple slides to me please?” It caught me by surprise, I was really becoming nervous. Challenge accepted, I can be very brief about this, it’s very hard without any preparation, adrenaline rushing through your full body, you tend to start shouting random words, oh yes that happened 🙂
Though, it was a valuable lesson, make sure you don’t speak too fast, just as myself and most attendees, English isn’t the mother tongue so make sure that you don’t rush and make sure that everyone can understand what you’re trying to say.
Now, we’re in full preparation mode, where I’m trying to process all feedback that I have received on my first rough presentation.
Keep you posted!