More prep for my PDC precon

As a follow on to our meeting with Don Krzysztof and I meet with Jeff Richter to get his take on what it takes to deliver an excellent precon.  I certainly respect Jeff’s opinion because he is the best selling .NET author and a very popular speaker at conferences and training classes. 

Some thoughts and tips Jeff gave us..


Tell stories – People want to understand the story behind the technology.  What were the discussions around a given design. 

Point out where we made mistakes – You’ll get more respect if you own up to the mistakes we have made in the framework

Show more code – Make the points concrete by showing code either in slides or in live demos

Go through less topics taking more time on each topic

Give weight and interjected opinion – Don’t evenly cover the topics, make it clear when a design is more common than others

Debugger – stepping thought code in the debuggers is an excellent way to show how the system really workds

Don’t show the audience your butt– that is face the audience at all time 😉

Feel in controls  - Have complete command of the material, know what you are going to say.  always be prepared.  They are paying for an expert, give them that.


Jeff and Don have different styles.. If I way over generalizing, Jeff emphasizes getting the getting the details right and Don emphasizes the big picture truths.  Krys and I are in the process of distilling their feedback into our own style…


What do you like best about these guys presentation styles?  What should we take and what should we leave?



BTW – it is not too late to sign up for our precon “Framework Design Guidelines: The Art of Building a Reusable Class Library“


Comments (4)

  1. msyed says:

    Details or big picture finally depends upon what topic you are speaking on and for how much time.

    For the precon, you will have an entire day, so it makes sense to get into a lot of details.

    For a 100-300 level 1.25 hour talk, the goal should be to send the audience with a few key takeaways.

    I think you and Krzysztof will do very well.

  2. Robert Kozak says:


    I am looking forward to your precon. I think you are on the right track getting as much advice and feedback then distilling into your own personal style. I agree with Jeff’s style. My first C# class was with him and I walked away from that with a very good understanding of the CLR.

    I would suggest you use slides sparingly. Only when you need to show a very high level over view of your point. I don’t like presentations that show powerpoint slides for more than 50% of the presentation. Especially in a conference when almost every presenter has the same set of slides. Hopefully, you wont show more than 4 slides an hour.

    — Robert

  3. Oh, what a great day… I *just* finished doing the final page proofs for the design guidelines book that…

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