T-SQL Tuesday: Speaking & Presenting


#TSQL2SDAY is a monthly blog party hosted by a different blogger each month. This blog party was started by Adam Machanic (blog|twitter). You can take part by posting your own participating post that fits the topic of the month and follows the requirements below. Additionally, if you are interested in hosting a future T-SQL Tuesday, contact Adam Machanic on his blog.

This month’s topic is going to be about Speaking & Presenting with a focus on Helping New Speakers.

I have presented “publicly” exactly one time, probably 12 years ago.  It was to the North Texas SQL Server User Group, during the “Pizza and Networking” portion of the evening.  I was the warmup act for the main presenter, which was perfectly fine with me.  I was simply doing a walk through of Red Gate Software‘s SQL Compare and SQL Data Compare tools, which weren’t as well known as they are now.

I’ve done a boatload of teaching since then, but almost exclusively to people I work with.  I’ve had dozens of one hour ad-hoc sessions to teach level 1 engineers SQL Server basics such as Backups, Log Shipping concepts, etc. so that they could close more tickets without having to escalate.  These were limited to 2-3 people, and no slide decks.  All whiteboard with circles, squares and arrows.  I’m also very experienced in teaching Bible stories and concepts to teens and pre-teens.   Lastly, I’ve been a cycling coach to teenagers for almost 10 years now…teaching training techniques and race tactics.  Multiple Texas State Championships from those I’ve coached.

All that to say I’m comfortable teaching to kids and those with open minds.

Teaching to SQL Server professionals is quite a bit more intimidating.

My ideal first presentation has to be things I know very, very well to a group of people that rarely use the info, and don’t know they need it:

“DBA basics for non-DBAs”

Target Audience: developers, junior and accidental DBAs, managers, Sys/Storage Admins, Data Warehouse and BI folks.  DBA-101.

I don’t know how well this would fit into a User group meeting, since most of the attendees are fairly experienced with SQL Server.  I think it would go over really well at a SQL Saturday, where there are multiple concurrent sessions.

Topics I think would fit really well into this talk (not necessarily all):

  • Backup/restore – What they are, what your DBA is doing, and what to ask for when you need a restore
  • How to find things in SQL Server Management Studio
  • What exactly is in the ERRORLOG?
  • Installation/Setup best practices
  • Concepts and differences in Log Shipping, Replication, Clustering and AGs (no tech, just descriptions…possibly its own presentation)

The key point of all this is take the massive enterprise product that is SQL Server and boil the basics down to the new users in terms they understand without drowning them.  A fine line for sure…

I would LOVE to get your feedback in the comments!



The OnPurpose DBA


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