Despite the fact that it is totally gorgeous in Seattle right now and I have to work because Tech Ed is nearing, I am excited!

I'm Back on my Feet

Why?  Cause despite the enormous workload, if feels as though things are coming together and... I am able to do physical exercise - 9 weeks post-op from knee surgery.  I am recovering nicely after a very rough 2 months.  I am usually an extremely active person.  Being out of commission was extremely challenging.  I have made my Physical Therapist shake her head disapprovingly at me for already riding my new/used Cannondale from coffee shop to coffee shop in Seattle.  I am very cautious though.  My ligament is actually at it's weakest point right now.

BTW, if you are in the market for a Windows laptop, This new Sony Vaio PCG-TR3AP is by far the best laptop I have ever had.   It comes perfectly loaded and the black screen makes it possible to sit outside and do work.  I love the fact that I live in a wireless broadband world!  This computer is totally loaded with video capturing built right in.  It makes SMSing dreamy.  If Richard ever gets the right version of MSN Messenger installed, we can laugh at each other from Bldg 42 to 119.

Thank you to all of the connected systems speakers for making your deadlines!

All of the first round decks are in.  The feedback process has been great during the many dry runs for internals and con-calls with externals.

Clemens, the over-achiever

Clemens wrote an excellent app that shows very awesome coding practices.  I don't think we will have an opportunity to document it in time for Tech Ed, but we will see.  How hungry are you for a real world demo application that really shows you how to code all of the concepts that will be discussed on the Connected Systems track?  What format would an educational material like this come in?  A PAG block?  A ServerSide.NET discussion forum?  A series of MSDN whitepapers?  A zip file you can simply download and hack around with?

Some tips on how to build a great presentation

I noticed that I have had some pretty consistent feedback with every speaker on the track.  Figured I would share this with everyone.

  • Tell the audience what you plan to tell them
  • Keep the audience awake while you pack their brain full of the material you promised - laughter helps keep people engaged
  • At the end, summarize what you have learned
  • Take a step back from your presentation, ask yourself the question, “If I was going to this session, what would I be expecting to leave with?“  Now ask yourself the question, did the presentation satisfy that need?
  • When you are reviewing your slides, think, what is the audience going to call B.S. on me for?  Make sure you are making strong arguments if you are making a claim that is hard to believe.  Otherwise, change your tone.
  • Then, once the flow of the presentation is solid, go back and remove all unnecessary wording, in fact cut all content from each slide, put it into the notes, and re-write the slide with only the highlighted words.  Remember in college when you highlighted the important key words.  Make your points, sweet, short, and concrete.  You want your audience listening to you, not reading
  • Don't use more than 6 bullets on a slide.
  • And finally, make friends with someone who is color blind, and give them your presentation.

Whidbey .asmx?

How many of you out there would like to see a session at Tech Ed on Whidbey's new .asmx feature set?