I’ve been wanting to attend the SQLSkills Immersion Training for almost a year now. However, my desire to go is limited by my budget and resources. SQLSentry, makers of the awesome tool SQL Sentry Plan Explorer, has cooked up a contest – a free seat to the SQLSkills Immersion Training this coming August 2012.

This gave me an idea. While I can prepare a laundry list of reasons why I wanted to attend this training, I decided to do something different. I’ve always wanted to incorporate learning concepts in almost everything that I do. I took this contest as an opportunity to teach something about presentation delivery. Similar to my previous post about my SQLRally 2011 presentation, I created a presentation slide as an entry to this contest. The slide applied the principles and concepts that I use in presentation delivery.

  1. Story. I’ve learned this the hard way. Now, every presentation I deliver has a story. We are wired to listen to and tell stories. We learn more when concepts are wrapped around stories. The presentation is about my story and why I wanted to attend the training.
  2. Simplicity. Making the complex simple while communicating ideas is a challenge. I chose simple color schemes, a simple outline and a simple message.
  3. Surprise. The presentation is for a contest. And it’s no different from applying for a job. You demonstrate your greatest assets, brag about your accomplishments, and list all the reasons why you are the ideal candidate. This is what most of us would do. And that’s what made this presentation different. I listed my failures and my shortcomings. I made a case about not being smart but being able to get things done. Now, that’s a surprise to somebody who is used to hearing a list of accomplishments.

Check out the presentation slide I did on SlideShare.

UPDATE (11-July-2012): Thanks to the people at SQLSentry for choosing my entry. The announcement has been made available on their website. And, thanks for everybody who provided feedback about my entry. They were very encouraging