It has been been exactly two weeks, since i've presented a session on Lisbon's Devdays 2004 about SOA and EDAF (the artist formerly known as SDAF and before that Shadowfax).
I've been wanting to write about the experience before, but between finishing up a report, studying for an exam,working some prospects, and working on a project that is slowly becoming a death march there isn't much time left for blogging.
Anyway, the experience has been great. In the end i think i can classify this new experience as a positive one.
First thing that i learned, writing a presentation takes a lot of time. Even though i based most of my presentation on some public presentations, it took much more time than i expected (and i reserved a significant portion of my time to do it). I had a lot of ideas on my mind, while driving or taking the morning shower i visualized some nice ideas and coherent sucession of slides, but once i was in front of the computer nothing camed was i had envisioned. Result: a lot of time writing and rewriting slides. A very rewarding but a time consuming task.
Second thing, presenting on stage is hard. Probably because i'm spoiled. Most of the presentations i've watched, have been presented by presentation gods like Rafal Lukawiecki, Don Box, Pat Helland and Clemens Vasters among many others. After seeing guys like these, making some very smooth presentations you often find yourself thinkg "this is easy, i can do that". Well you can't, well you can but it's hard not easy. :-) I guess the path to a good presentation (assuming you have good content) is the same path as to the Carnegie Hall (lots of practice).
Third thing, keep a bottle of water on and handy place. Speaking for an entire hour can leave your throat very dry. :-) (i'm usually a listener not a talker)
I think, the presentation has been ok. I left out some tiny things, that i rehearsed and i think i failed to pass the message on some points but on overall i think i did ok.
I only had feedback from 3 strangers (friends don't count :-)), two were positive, and one was disturbing (apart from calling me boring (no argument there, that is kind of normal)) he said he didn't like my presentation on web services,after an hour talking about SOA and while explicitily stating that web services != SOA, i felt disapointed somehow i completely failed to pass that message, and my whole presentation has reduced to web services. Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. :-)
Oh well, on overall a very positive experience. Would i do it again? absolutely.