September 11, 2012

#vBrownBag Presenter Guidelines

Here is a quick run down of things we’ve found that work/don’t work after a few years “on-air”.

Presentation Guidelines:

Video

In order to ensure the widest compatibility across devices a screen resolution of 1024×768 is ideal. Running the presentation software inside a VM or in something you can RDP into might work best.

Audio

An external USB microphone is preferred. Next, dial-in. Finally, if you must, VoIP with your onboard microphone. Presenting from a quiet place works best, too.

Presentation Style:

A few things that have worked very well in the past:

  • Live demos (if possible)
  • Slides (technical/in-depth, that promote conversation between the presenter & attendees)
  • Deep technical focus — not just “why”, but “how”
  • Attendee engagement

Disclosure:

It is quite alright if you work with or for a vendor. On the #vBrownBags we are all one big community. However, keep in mind, this is not an hour long sales or marketing pitch. We’ve found that if you state up front that you work for a vendor, most folks will be cool with it, as long as your content is sound.

Things that don’t work:

  • Sales focused, or thinly-veiled marketing pitches
  • Competition bashing/FUD

Audience

If you have attended the VMTN podcast, there is a lot of overlap between the groups. The folks here are looking for deep technical knowledge in a particular area. If you’re new to presenting, DON’T PANIC. The #vBrownBag crew aren’t professional podcasters, and we don’t expect it of our presenters.

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