PASS Speaker Idol: Part of the Goal of Being a Better Speaker

MicrophoneAndStandIf one wants to get better at public speaking, there is no better way of doing that than to practice. Personally I think the best experience are where you are giving a talk to an audience, as that seems to improve my performance better than speaking to a mirror. I also read a lot of blogs regarding public speaking hoping to learn some tips. One of the things I know not to do, but I do anyway is add in those nothing works like “um” or “ah”. I know that I shouldn’t. I also know I shouldn’t procrastinate, but I find myself doing that sometimes as well. Sometimes you have to figure out ways to make yourself do things, like making a deadline so you can hit it or putting yourself in a situation where you are asking people to criticize your speaking skills. If the goal is to get better, I think you have to move yourself out of the comfort zone you may be occupying in order to make that happen.

Speaking as a Competitive Sport

For those of you who haven’t heard of PASS Speaker Idol, which is understandable since it has only been around for a year, it is a competition where 12 people compete by giving a five minute technical speech on a topic of their choice in front of an audience and a panel of judges. There are four rounds of competition, and 3 people will advance to the finals. The winner will get to speak at PASS Summit next year on a topic of their choice. Here are all the competitors, and the competition times. If you are at PASS Summit hopefully you can attend some of the sessions.

Wednesday (3:15pm – 4:30pm)

  • Todd Kleinhans
  • William Durkin
  • Ginger Grant
  • Ed Watson

Thursday (4:45pm – 6:00pm)

  • Rob Volk
  • Amy Herold
  • Bill Wolf
  • Wes Springob

Friday (2:00pm – 3:15pm)

  • Luciano Caixeta Moreira
  • Ronald Dameron
  • Theresa Iserman
  • David Maxwell

You will notice I am going on the first day. I’ve decided to give a talk on SSIS, and figured out how to talk for only five minutes.   I’ve been practicing, run through my demo, and took pictures of the demo in case it doesn’t work that day. After reading everything I could find on what happened last year, I’m feeling pretty good about my chances. Many thanks to Rob Volk t | b on all of the great information he put out about last year’s competition. A big thanks also to Denny Cherry t | b for not only starting the Speaker Idol contest but doing it again this year.

Winning Good Information

Regardless how the competition turns out, I will win information from those people who watch me speak how I can be a better speaker. Hopefully they won’t catch me saying “um” but I plan on learning how to apply some of the other things I learn to improve my talks the next time. If you are interested in where I am speaking next time, please take a look at the Engagements page on my blog where I list everywhere I have or will be speaking. One of the places I will be speaking is at the PASS Business Analytics Conference in May. I am thrilled to be able to talk about Implementing Successful Data Analytics Management Practices for two hours. After this week, I’m sure that presentation, and others will be even better than they would be. If you want to know how Speaker Idol turns out, please subscribe to my blog where I will be letting you know how it all turned out.


Yours Always

Ginger Grant

Data aficionado et SQL Raconteur



One comment on “PASS Speaker Idol: Part of the Goal of Being a Better Speaker

  1. Pingback: News About PASS For Week Ending October 31, 2015 |

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