At the VMware User Group NL conference we just had a vExpert lunch with Amy Lewis (@commsninja). She gave a great talk with tips on public speaking. One of the problems we touched upon is “imposter syndrome”. Joep Piscaer gave a separate talk about this, which I will link to when the video is published.
As I really love presenting, learned not to be nervous and do not suffer from imposter syndrome I felt it would be a good idea to list here the tips I mentioned during the discussion. These are really things I use daily and that are fundamental to me for public speaking, presenting, podcasting or whatever. I should probably put these golden nuggets in a presentation and sell it, but here you go for free:
Tell a story. This is something I twittered about at cloud expo last week and is very dear to me. Whatever it is you are presenting about, tell a story. A personal experience, a user story, even a complete analogy. I once attended a presentation about tech evolution where the speaker told a story about a medieval monastery! I still remember it today some odd 20 years later… I do not remember all the presentations where people where just going over all the bullet points on their slides… Note that obviously you do not just present slides made by your marketing department…
Be yourself. Be authentic. I think this also helps with imposter syndrome. If you are a techie, introvert guy, do not imitate Elvis on stage. Present from your strengths. Use whiteboard, explain (tell a story…). People will connect. I used the example of a company I used to work for (yes Novell, no one remembers…) where we would have US-based tech evangelists come over to present. They did great sessions – shows almost – that were welll received. When some European colleagues started imitating them it bumped. Because we do not have the same culture, so it was not accepted from a local. And the local guys were not the “guys from HQ”.
Present as if you are in the audience. This is the most important one for me. This is what helped me a ton. Unfortunately I do not remember where I picked it up. If you have to do a presentation, imagine that you are in the audience. Do you want to be entertained or do you want someone struggling through his speech? It will even help you feel empathy for yourself, which is very important because there are some very good chances that the audience exists of normal people like you that are also nervous about presenting sometimes! (Unless you are presenting to managers or vc… just kidding).
And as mentioned by Amy: practice, practice. I was lucky that through my hobby (astronomy) I started working as a volunteer in an observatory where they dropped me in front of groups visiting with every different background imaginable. So I was already presenting long before I got into tech.
Oh and most important, even for life itself… Use a little humour….
Let me know what you think and go out and present to the world!
This post is more of a marker than anything else. My contract with Blue Medora has been terminated January 2nd. I will be free to pursue other opportunities at the end of the month.
I will of course continue to write about VMware vRealize Operations and other monitoring and cloud provisioning tools. I might even write about the excellent Blue Medora plugins, but not working for them anymore.
Our second-to-none engineers have launched a utility today that has been developed internally to help with VMware vRealize Operations management: the vROps CLI tool! It is now publicly available for free on Github for linux, Mac and Windows on our public repository.
As you can guess this utility allows you to interact from the command line with your vROps instance: install adapters, list alerts,… And of course this opens the door to some nifty scripts to automate tasks in your environment… like installing those great new Blue Medora management packs:
One of the management packs for VMware vRealize Operations that has evolved the most over the past two years is the Pivotal Cloud Foundry solution. From connecting through our own open -source nozzle to using the BOSH API, Blue Medora now enables you to monitor all aspects of your PCF deployment, including apps. Today we publish yet another set of enhancements. This is one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market to monitor PCF and how it runs on your VMware environment.
PCF infrastructure dashboard
Features in this Release Include:
Added BOSH Job resource kind, which serves as a catch-all resource for any BOSH job (including BOSH metrics) not covered by other previously-defined resource kinds (See: Resource Kinds and Relationships)
Improved alerts and recommendations to align with PCF Key Performance Indicators best practice documentation (See: Alerts)
Added one new Advanced Configuration setting: Collect Events (See: Creating an Adapter Instance)
Updated Blue Medora Nozzle Tile to include timeseries for historical data to enable improved alerts (NOTE: Be sure to upgrade the management pack prior to upgrading to the new nozzle version. See: Upgrading the Management Pack.)
Good news if you saw the announcement of VMware vRealize Operations v6.7 yesterday. We worked hard with VMware so that all our management packs are ready for use with this new version! The capacity planning engine has been overhauled a lot, so we wrote a KB article to explain the differences.
HPE 3PAR capacity dashboard
Blue Medora product management have published a partial list of latest versions to use. These also include other updates. The list is not complete yet, but more will follow. For a documentation and data sheets see the product matrix and contact sales there for a demo and trial or email email@example.com.