Tech Days 2009: A Speaking Debut


Playing with exposure time on my camera

Tech Days Toronto has come and gone, opening what I hope to be one of many speaking engagements to come.  It was an honor to be able to Headline the conference with a presentation on “What’s new in Silverlight 3”.

After taking the time to rest over the weekend, I thought I would take the opportunity to write about it at Guelph Coffee and Code while I wait for some more attendees to show up. For more information on Coffee and Code in general check out the official website

Being my first technical conference, and more importantly the first time speaking in front of a large crowd (approx. 400 people were in attendance for my session), I was extremely nervous. To start my presentation and to try to get comfortable with the audience, I started up getting the entire room to chant “Silver” – “Light”, dividing the room in half.

Feeling energized by the ability to stir the crowd, I began my presentation at a blazing speed. I started into demoing my first topic, “Perspective 3D”. I walked through the 2 forms explaining the idea behind each of the forms, how you have the ability to flip elements on the X, Y, and Z Planes.  After showing these 2 demos, I remembered at tweet of advice from Barry Gervin of Object Sharp, the general idea “Speaker quieter, and slower than you think you have to”.  After the words slower passed my mind, I flinched, I haven’t shown any code yet. In a bit of a panic I explain myself and decide to jump into the code of my first two demos.

Opening SlideAfter reviewing the code from the first two demos, things went as you would expect a live demo to go. One of my demos didn’t cooperate but I was able to recover and show an example of Data Validation in a subsequent demo.

Overall, I had a great time being able to present at Tech Days and hope to be able to speak at future Microsoft Events.  I’ll be sure to keep my head in Silverlight code, and make tours at local .Net User Groups (like CTTDNUG & FCDNUG)