Usually around this time of the month — a week before (my user group‘s) monthly meeting — I’d be posting an announcement about our upcoming meeting.
I still will do so — as soon as I find out who’s speaking.
As I write this, I’m guessing that our speaker will be Greg Moore, but I’m not completely sure. One way or another, I’ll post an announcement later today.
Which brings me to the subject of today’s article.
Have you ever wanted to speak publically or do presentations? Consider doing so at a local user group. It’s the perfect place to do so!
There are many advantages about speaking at a local user group. If you’re a first-time speaker, it’s an opportunity to practice your presentation skills. If you’ve been a part of a user group for some time, you can do so in front of a familiar audience. If it’s your first time at a particular user group, it can serve as an introduction to the group. Either way, it’s a wonderful experience that is generally less pressure than presenting for the first time at, say, a SQL Saturday.
I’ve told this story plenty of times. In 2015, I came up with a presentation idea that I first presented at my user group. I had been involved with this user group for a while, I was among friends, and I felt comfortable about presenting to this group. Ever since that initial experience, I’ve spoken at several SQL Saturdays, and this coming November, I will be doing that same presentation for PASS Summit! My experience with speaking has also passively helped my career in numerous ways, including (but not limited to) expanding my network and improving my own professional self-confidence. I’ve come a long way since that initial start!
And if you’re still not completely comfortable with speaking, but still have an interest in doing so, there are other resources available to get you started. Look into groups or courses such as Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie. (Disclosure: I have friends who are involved with Toastmasters, and I, myself, am a Dale Carnegie grad.)
If you’re interested in speaking, consider starting at your local user group. You never know where a small start could lead!
P.S. if you’d like to speak for our user group, feel free to drop us a line!