Last week I took advantage of a pretty cool opportunity…

A few months ago I had submitted an idea for a talk to a local conference called PrDCDeliver. It’s the touchier, feel-ier, leader-ier side of another local technical conference (PrDC – Prairie Dev Con) that runs in my city every spring.

As with most things it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and being a friend of the conference organizer, I secured a spot “delivering” (see what I did there) a talk on Inspiring Team Growth Through Meaningful Feedback (you can download the presentation slides here). I’d like to think the presentation abstract I submitted had something to do with it, but who knows.

Pardon the graininess the room was definitely rocking mood lighting

Despite being a topic I’m more than familiar with (Post #1 Post #2), I had a fantastic support group backing me up in the weeks leading up to the conference.

While I’ve spoken at events before, I’ve never had an opportunity to speak to:

  1. A local audience
    It really changes things when you may never see the attendees ever again
  2. A group of IT Professionals
    Who can be an extremely critical audience (which is both good and bad)

… so I knew I had to bring my A game.

Thankfully, some of the fantastic nerds I work with offered to sit through a few dry runs of my content and offer up some feedback of their own. After three increasingly-polished attempts I felt as though I had refined a talk I had presented 5 or 6 times in the past into something of which I was much more proud.

Slides were scrapped, ideas were thrown out, jokes were dad-ified, and tons and tons of words were trimmed from the original version I had used multiple times in the past. In the end I produced the deck linked above and it was thanks to the efforts of that support group (thanks again @adamkrieger and the rest of you – who don’t have blogs I’m pretty sure)

The feedback I got on the talk was generally pretty damn good. Most of the attendees who submitted a few things that could still be improved, naturally, but that’s the benefit of putting your ideas out there … People can look at it, critique it, and generally tear you a new one without fear, cause hell, they don’t know you. The trick is, take what you learned and get better.

Here is a link to download the slides I presented at the conference

I’m leaving them just as they were presented at Deliver and I’m not going to edit them or update them as I think they represent a moment in time, just the way the blog posts I linked above do as well.

If you end up grabbing a copy, let me know what you think, I’m interested in gathering up some more feedback and continuing to iterate on something I’d like to continue to present about in the future.

Thanks for the read!


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