Getting ready for the Framework Design Guidelines: The Art of Building a Reusable Class Library PreCon

Krzysztof and I spent sometime with Don Box Friday to get some tips on how to give a great PDC precon. 

Don reminded me of this channel9 interview he did… really a great watch.. I highly recommend all PDC speakers review it twice before the show! 


Don challenged my thinking on how to structure the presentation… While it is very uncomfortable to be challenged, Don’s right, I need to rethink how we present the material for this precon… Perhaps the biggest revelation I had was that I should give a talk that *I* would want to see.  That is I love dynamic, funny, insightful talks that change the way I look at the world – so I should give that kind of talk.  Rather than 300 slides full of bullet points no one will remember anyway.


 Wish us luck as Krys and I attempt to focus on the truth rather than the facts in this presentation!


BTW – don’t expect me to come out in a tub, or get dancers on stage, but the precon will be well worth the time!


PS – Next week Krys and I meet with Jeff Richter to have a similar talk… Jeff and Don are both on my list of “Master Communicators” and they both have very different styles.  It will be interesting to see how the talk morphs again after that meeting.

Comments (6)

  1. David Smith says:

    Good luck! Have fun! Hope to see you there!

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  3. Steve Hall says:

    There needs to be a happy medium between the "all verbal" (story) kind of talks that Don gives and a (fact-based) PPT death-march.

    The one complaint I kept hearing from acquiantances at PDC03 during and after Don’s talks were that although they really liked what he had to say, they were probably going to have trouble remembering more than a few key points. (From more than a few folks I heard the word "rambling" used to describe Don’s talks…) I.e., few "take-aways", since Don’s so anti-PPT. Personally, I like Don’s style for keynote speeches and certain types of overview talks. But when he starts to drill into details, I’d like some PPT’s as take-aways for the occassion 3-4 weeks down the road when my memory is faultering with exactly what he said.

    One way his talks would be more valuable is if the conference DVDs were produced faster and delivered within a month after the conference. That way, his verbal points would be referenceable within a reasonable post-conference time-frame.

    That’s the key advantage of having a certain amount of PPT’s: take-aways that are immediately referencible in the weeks following the conference before getting the conference DVDs. Since I almost always pay for the conference out of my own pocket, my emphasis has always been about cost-justifying and making sure I come away with enough take-aways to warrant the expense. If all break-out sessions were in Don’s style, then I’d probably skip the conference and wait for the equivalent articles to appear in MSDN Magazine…(or for the presenters to publish all their books…)

    Thus, I suggest you at least use PPT’s to act as agenda/guideline and to enumerate the best tips and hints (while leaving out the bulk of the guidelines you’ve already published). Of course, supplementing the PPT’s with real code samples (both poor and good) that we can download would be good.

  4. 菊池 Blog says:

    truth rather than facts

  5. William Stacey says:

    I have seen pretty much all Don’s videos and the C9 vid and mostly agree. Having seen many MS presentations I would tend to nix all PPTs and just give talk with live (or preRecorded) Demos. Demos are always good and people get to see what your talking about. Then you also have the video (avi, etc) and the Code you used in the video as downloadable take aways after the fact. I tend not to watch the voice over PPT sessions anymore, but will watch (and re-watch) the video/demo sessions. JM2C.

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