Standing in front of a group, large or small, was one of the most intimidating things to me as a young man. I hated making presentations in school and university to others. As I moved through my career, however, I realized that this was an important skill for my career.
Often in many positions, I had the chance (or need) to debate, argue, or just present a viewpoint to others on my team or inside my organization. I had to train others, teaching them about our systems. I had to explain my decisions to management and defend actions. All of these moments required speaking and communication skills.
You can take a chance and share something with others by submitting to The New Stars of Data. Their next event is in March, which gives you lots of time to prepare, practice, and get feedback before delivering a session. If that’s too soon, I’m we’ll see another GroupBy conference, SQL Saturday, or other virtual event that will consider you. I’d ask that all of these events reserve 10% of their slots for new speakers to their event. After all, it can be less intimidating to speak virtually, and there are lots of opportunities right now.
Many of you might not think you’re smart enough, or an expert in some area. I’ll share a little secret with you: I’m not either. I often see questions at SQLServerCentral or in the Microsoft MVP email list that amaze and surprise me. I truly feel like an impostor at these moments, when I realize I don’t know or understand something.
At some point in life I started to take chances and deliver small talks at work or user groups. I realized that I didn’t need to be an expert to teach something to others. I realized I could have some success, even without being the smartest person in the room. There are always people that know more, but there are always others that want to learn something simple. Level 101 talks are always popular and in demand.
Take a chance today, and submit to the New Stars of Data. I’m happy to help you with an abstract, or give you feedback on a practice talk. William, Ben, and many others will help as well. Submit a talk, ask for help, and continue to grow your career.