So, I received an email the other day containing the feedback results from my SQLBits session, Who Needs Google Maps? (when you’ve got SQL Server). The SQLBits organising committee do a great job, not only in arranging a world-class SQL conference that is free to delegates, but also in encouraging and developing speakers by giving them a stage (literally) on which to perform, and providing invaluable feedback afterwards to help you improve your presentation skills. All attendees are encouraged to provide feedback in six categories: speaker’s knowledge, quality of presentation, session abstract, demos, were their expectations met, and overall performance.
My lowest average score was in “Quality of Session Abstract” but I’m not entirely surprised about that: both the title of my session and the abstract printed in the SQLBits programme (and on the website) had been slightly oddly truncated from those I originally submitted in order to fit onto the page (which, I understand, was produced entirely using SQL Server Reporting Services!). If I’d known about a word limit in advance, I could have produced shorter versions myself that would have made slightly more sense. I did apologise at the beginning of my presentation but, fortunately, people seem to have got enough information from them to work out what to expect from the session. So, no biggie.
My highest average score was in speaker knowledge, which I’m really pleased (and slightly flattered!) about. There are a lot of very smart people at SQLBits, so it’s always nice to be recognised in your chosen field of expertise. I’m also pleased that my session demos went well – there’s a certain element of luck involved in any live presentation, and technical difficulties can affect any speaker, no matter how well prepared you are. Fortunately, my laptop behaved and the demos went to plan.
Overall, I averaged over 8.5/10 in all six feedback categories, which I’m really pleased about (and also represents an improvement on the feedback from my previous SQLBits session). However, what I’m most pleased about is some of the comments that people wrote: “…Imparted enthusiasm…”, “…Inspiring…”, “…Something I’d like to try out as soon as possible…”, “…Really inspiring demos…”. Like most speakers, usergroup organisers, forum moderators, etc., I didn’t get paid to do this. In fact, it cost me a fair amount to travel down to Brighton from Norwich. I do it because I genuinely am passionate about my subject and I love teaching it to people, showing them things they might not have seen before, or new ways to solve problems. So getting comments like this makes it all worth it. Thankyou to all those who provided feedback. And I’ll try to make sure that my next session is just as good (or better)!
If you didn’t make it to SQLBits but would like to see my session then I believe videos will be put up on the SQLBits site as soon as they are processed. I’ll let you know when this happens.