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Public Speaking Tip 3 : Pick a subject you are interested in!

Your presentation should be on a subject you have a genuine interest in. There will be a number of these tips that relate back to picking your subject for a presentation, but for now I will focus on this specific aspect.

Enthusiasm goes a very long way when you are presenting. When you are genuinely interested in a subject it draws people in. It is very hard to “appear” enthusiastic about something you have no interest in! It is even harder to maintain enthusiasm when you are presenting the same session multiple times. There has to be something there that gives you that spark, which the others around you can feed off.

When I look around at all the great speakers I’ve met and tried to learn from, they are all really into their subject. They are all speaking about something they feel passionate about. To do anything less than that is cheating yourself and the audience.



Happy arbitrary day of the year!

If you take a step back and think about it, it’s funny how we attach such significance to a day of the year. :)

For myself, I hope during this year I can put in the effort to achieve the things I want to achieve, rather than just sitting back and day dreaming about what it would be like for them to fall into my lap. I guess to some that sounds kind of funny, but I look around at this time of year and I see many people living in a rather delusional state. Those new years resolutions, that will last about 30 seconds when you see your first piece of cake. :)

Public Speaking Tip 2 : Rehearse!

I can almost hear the chorus of, “Well durr!”, but stick with me…

Do you remember the kids at school that always said stuff like, “I’ve done no revision at all for these exams!”, when you knew full well they had been slaving away for weeks to prepare. Speak about rehearsing for a presentation at a conference and those kids all come out of the woodwork, but in the guise of Oracle geeks… :) Now I’m not calling these people liars, but rehearsal means very different things to different people.

For me, rehearsing involves the following to a greater or lesser degree:

Public Speaking Tip 1 : Do some public speaking!

A number of people have asked me how they can improve their public speaking. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I thought I’d share my thoughts over a series of posts. Why a series? Because I figured if I tried to write an all encompassing post on the subject it would become long and boring, so small sound-bites it is! :)

So the first suggestion I would make about improving your public speaking, is to actually do some public speaking. There’s a pretty simple rule in life, you tend to get good at things you do regularly. I would suggest that very few people in life can stand up in front of an audience for the first time and feel the audience is about to witness greatness. No matter how bad you are at presenting, after you’ve done 20, you will be better than you were at the start. After 40 you will be better than you were at 20…

Dreaming of Google Searches (La La La Human Steps)

You know you’re a geek when you are dreaming of a conversation with someone, reach for your tablet to search for the answer to something and can’t find it. Due to your frustration in the dream, you wake up in real life, reach for your tablet and continue to search for the thing you couldn’t find in your dream!

That is exactly what happened to me this morning. In my dream I was recounting watching The Word as a kid and seeing Louise Lecavalier from La La La Human Steps. I was totally blown away! This was before the days of YouTube, so I had never seen anything like it before. I can’t find that performance on YouTube, but if you are interested, this was what the “dream conversation” was about.

Jean Claude Van Damme : Volvo

One of my friends posted me a link to this great video.

I’m a big Jean Claude Van Damme fan and have been since I first saw him in No Retreat, No Surrender. I was at a mates house and I didn’t have access to a couple of Volvo trucks, so I had to use a couch for my response.



Locked Forums

Just a quick note to say I’ve had to temporarily lock my forums. As happens every so often, the spammers are hitting it pretty hard at the moment. I’m a bit sick of spending every waking minute deleting hundreds of spam posts, so I’m giving myself a break for a while. During previous episodes, after a couple of days of no joy it’s died down, so hopefully it won’t last too long this time either…



Update: It’s late and I’m tired. I just remembered I can prevent new registrations, so I’ve unlocked the forums, but stopped all new registrations. That way, existing members can carry on as normal… :)

MobaXterm 6.6

I’ve sung the praises of MobaXterm many times. Just a quick note to say version 6.6 came out a few days ago. The download and change log are here.

If you are using a desktop PC running windows, but spend your life connecting UNIX and Linux servers, like most DBAs and sys admins, you really need this in your life! It’s so much better than anything I’ve ever used before. Even those really expensive desktop X emulators (you know who you are)! What’s more, it’s a self contained .exe, so no need for installation. Just unzip and go. Perfect on a memory stick!



KeePass 2.24 Released

Just a quick note to say that KeePass 2.24 has been released. The downloads are here and the changelog is here.

I’ve written about my use of KeePass here.

I use the Portable KeePass version, so I just unzip it over the old version and we are good to go!



Update: Remember, if you are planning to use KeePass on Mac, make sure you have the latest version of X11 and Mono (3.2.3 or later).


Captain Support and the Mystery of the Broken Website (Internet Explorer 11)

After successfully upgrading two laptops to Windows 8.1, Captain Support flew back to his secret server room and continued to monitor the world’s communications, waiting for the next opportunity to allow mere mortals to witness his greatness. That opportunity came when his sister-in-law emailed to say that his nephew’s football academy website was not working properly…

Having read some reports about broken websites, Captain Support assumed the problem was because of Internet Explorer 11, so he used LogMeIn to connect to his sister-in-law’s laptop, installed FireFox and tested the website. It worked perfectly. The site also worked fine using Chrome.