We have a winner


Now that Developer Day voting is open the competition to an MSDN subscription is closed. We ended up with three potential female speakers, one from an MVP, Bev Hatchard who spoke at DDD Scotland and is now bitten by the presenting bug, one from Chris Hart

The Firm rip

The Dead Zone dvd

on virtual worlds and a submission from Helen Emerson


Now the competition was going to end when voting ended; but as Bev is an MVP and already has an MSDN subscription and Chris has a subscription from Dave Sussman that leaves Helen. This isn’t a win by default; Helen has been ramping up her talks at usergroups as well, so last night when she spoke at my usergroup last week I presented her with her prize; please enjoy it Helen!

From speaking to a few others some potential speakers had considered it but were too nervous to attempt it; this is perfectly understandable – my first speaking engagement was a favour for a friend at work who forgot to tell me it was for a major conference and there could be up to 100 people in the room. Nerves are unfortunately part of it, they never go away and I’m not sure how to address that. If you’re one of the nervous folks would a mentor help? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and popping emails back and forth between a few of us; the community needs more speakers – how can the community help you overcome your nerves or objections and get you up to the front?

If you missed the change to submit for DDD you have another option. With REMIX around the corner on 18/19th September 2008, once again the community is gearing up to provide its own unique brand of  “entertainment while you learn” plus opportunities for all members of the UK Community to take part in events and promote their groups and themselves.

To that end, the REMIX team are organising another Speaking Competition along the lines seen at TechEd and the UK Launch.  The community team is offering a fantastic opportunity to do just this by offering the chance to speak at a major event to your user group members.  In the process they can get some help in improving their speaking skills plus have a chance to win an Xbox 360!  Yes “Ready Steady Speak” is back for REMIX.

The Secret of NIMH rip For those of you not familiar with it, the format is as follows;

Contestants will present a 5 minute session on a subject of their choice relating to Web Development or Web Design.  They will present in front of the REMIX audience and in front of a panel of judges.  If there are more than a  certain number of contestants (TBD), there will be ‘heats’ earlier in the day with the winners of the heats in a ‘speak-off’ in the evening session.  The ‘speak-off’ will take place as stated in the evening of the first day of MIX and the first prize is an XBox 360 and some goodies!

Mandatory Prerequisites:

  • Speakers must NOT have previously presented ‘full sessions’ at DDD, TechEd, DevWeek, SDN, SQLBITS, VBUG Conference, NxtGenUG FEST or any similar such conferences.
  • Speakers must create a new session of their own with new material which can be based on existing material but cannot be a simple copy of it.
  • Speakers must limit their session to as close to 5 minutes as possible (overrunning time will cause the speaker to be marked down.)
  • Speakers must not have previously won Speaker Idol or “Ready Steady Speak” UK Launch
  • Speakers must state their desire to enter the competition by no later than COP Monday 15th September 2008.

Escape from L.A. movies Desirable

  • Speakers should provide if at all possible their own laptop, but one can be provided if necessary.  The speaker should notify the organisers of any software prerequisites.
  • Speakers should have spoken previously at a User Group meeting even if only for a 10 min mini-session or ‘nugget’.  This is NOT mandatory.

This is a great starting point for your speaking “career”; all you need is a five minute topic and the feedback you receive will be constructive and helpful, unlike the real Pop Idol. If this is tempting then Dave McMahon is the person to email.