Feedback and Career Impacts of Convention Presentations with Al Rasheed

Welcome to episode 74 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we discuss getting feedback on community presentations and the career impact of doing them in the second part of our discussion with (Al Rasheed).

Original Recording Date: 03-29-2020

Topics – Feedback on and Career Impacts of Presenting at Conventions

01:53 – Asking for Community Feedback

  • Al wanted feedback from experienced conference presenters in the greater community to take lessons learned and implement them in his own execution.
  • He definitely received a good deal of feedback. But how do you decide how to process it?
    • Listen to the story about Al’s decision to include / exclude a specific presentation slide based on feedback. It made a huge impact on the presentation as a whole.
  • Al cites someone in the community asking him for feedback on a presentation and how honored he was to provide feedback to another community member.
  • Presentations encompass the content, the way you deliver the content, and the execution.
    • It seems like Al approached this presentation like an educator would.
  • Al was very happy with every aspect of the presentation and was overwhelmed by the number of community members who came out to support him that day.
    • Listen to the story of what Tim Davis did for Al right before the presentation because he saw a friend in need. It made all the difference.
    • "All I needed to hear from them was…you got this." – Al Rasheed
  • Looking back, Al probably would not have asked so many people for feedback.
    • He struggled to keep track of it all and wanted to make everyone happy. A smaller sample set next time might be better to decrease the stress level.
    • John mentions getting feedback and listening to it but making your own decision after thoughtful consideration makes you better without offending others.

12:09 – Career Impact

  • This has become an addiction for Al. His ambition is to give presentations in places he has never been and on topics he has not previously presented.
  • Al has not only taken this to heart but has encouraged others to do the same.
    • Each of the DC VMUG leaders has agreed to present at an upcoming meeting.
    • Al has been able to use his experience to influence others in a positive way so they can take the next step.
    • Giving presentations on things just outside of your reach encourages deep learning.
      • A number of highly compensated positions out there include an element of public speaking.
      • John says getting involved in building this skill can be thought of as low stakes.
    • Al encourages listeners to take that next step and reach out to someone else if you need help.
  • How can I get started on my own to help with preparation?
    • Check out webinars and virtual events.
    • Get involved within your organization. Al mentioned lunch and learns hosted by his group for end users.
    • Start small, and learn from the experience. Then consider giving back.
    • Studying a presentation for the style used, the flow, the progression, etc. starts critical thought about presentations in general rather than the content itself.
    • Many IT conferences have moved to virtual format based on the current world pandemic. There is no better time to do a presentation and study those made by others.
      • Most of these conferences put recorded sessions online. Check out customer presentations vs. vendor / partner presentations to see people who are not paid to be public speakers.
    • Al is helping the DC VMUG to stand up some virtual sessions that would enable people to present at no cost to him except a few minutes.
    • Check out vBrownBag presentations as well.

22:33 – Final Thoughts

  • Al’s desire is to continue to take on challenges in the community and in his role at work.
  • You can find Al on Twitter (@al_rasheed). A DM is the best way to reach him.

Contact us if you need help on the journey.

image sources

  • Ep73-74 Al Rasheed: John White

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