My First SQL Saturday in English as Speaker( A few years journey)

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I usually blog in Spanish, but in this occasion I will do it in English based on the location that I’m going to be talking about.

How did I get involved in this adventure of speaking about SQL Server?.  I remember one day if Tampa, on a SQL Skills class, when  on a free for all speak afternoon, this guy start presenting about getting involved in the community, and how can you grow personal and professional by doing something we all like.

Next day, I review the SQL Saturday website, and I saw the first SQL Saturday in Latin America taking place, and I was so lucky that it was going to take place in Costa Rica, my home town. By lunch I sat next to this gentlemen and Star asking him a lot of questions, with my very limited English skills (my first language is Spanish). He spent with me lot of time during the day explaining me how can I submit a session for consideration, and even more important encouraging me to do it.

The same day in the afternoon I spoke with Kimberly Tripp, and I asked her if I can present on partial databases, one of the topics she master very well, and she kindly accept to let me reproduce the memory stick demo she putted together.

Then I had all the ingredients to put a session together, a great session, how to submitted and right on my own town. With that in mind I submitted my session, with le luck that I few months after It got selected, OMG … I was scare to death, but I was able to present with half full room; that was my first SQL Saturday it was in Spanish, here in Costa Rica, and Organized for a guy that is right now one of the Regional mentors of Latam, Eduardo Castro, great times on SQL Saturday #133.

I continue having a close friendship with this gentlemen I met in Tampa, one day even I called him by phone for a few hours late on night, asking him about a strategy for licensing SQL server servers for the company I was working on that time. He stay with me on the phone for  hours without even complaining and paying alot of attention; providing all the possible feedback based on the current situation.

Then the time passed, and like he mentioned on that session in Tampa in 2012, the longer I was presenting,  more great people I was meeting, people like Andy Leonard, David Dye, Jose Redondo, Jose Rivera, Eduardo Castro, Jesus Gil,Cesar Oviedo, Adrian Miranda, Karla, Ahias Portillo, David Sanchez, Joaquin Zuñiga, Guillermo Taylor, Brian Moran and more, If I forget anyone I really apologize.

And then the gentlemen I meet in Tampa, submit a session for Costa Rica, and he came here to present on Backups and disaster recovery, that was last April, on SQL Saturday 282. We had talked that if he submited for Costa Rica, I will submit for Atlanta, and our both sessions got selected.

But I forgot that he was coming to Costa Rica to present in English, and I will have to go to Atlanta to present in English, and then the fun started, I had years without feeling like that previous a presentation, the day before the event I was on the hotel scare to death, because I was going to be presenting in English, to the Biggest SQL Saturday in the world for 2013, I was even thinking to call him and tell him, man, on the speakers dinner I ate something that is making me feel weird. But I changed my mind and decide to continue moving forward.

Now I’m at Saturday, my god, the day of the event, and still scare, I decided to stay in the hotel and practice by myself the presentation for a little bit in front of the mirror. Then the time to arrive to event comes, I start driving and get to Georgia State University, that’s it, I’m now at SQL Saturday 285. I entered to the place, and I went straight to the Speakers Room, and I got the luck to be with Denny Cherry, Grant Fritchey in the same room, the fact of hearing them speak about the different things of SQL and see them having a great time, helped me to calm down for a bit. Then I met with someone I had long time trying to meet, Thomas Stringer, and I practiced my presentation with him, he said.. “It is awesome, you are going to be fine” first vote of confidence thanks Thomas. I bit later I star seeing a pretty friendly Face, my good friend Carlos Chacon, and finally my friend Tim arrives. They saw with me the presentation and provided the votes of confidence I was needing to go and finally do my first Presentation on a SQL Saturday in English.

Well, the time arrives, time to go to the room and speak, I remember saying to Tim and Carlos, I hope is half full, so I will be less nervous.

Once I arrive to the room 212, I’m at the door and the door was close, I’m telling myself, well maybe the previous speaker had not finished, and then I remembered, I was right after lunch, so there were not previous speaker. Suddenly a guy wearing a yellow t-shirt comes out and I asked him:

  • Kenneth:  Is this the session for Indexes strategies?
  • Gent: Yes.
  • Kenneth: Ok Nice, please let me enter
  • Gent: No you can’t.
  • Kenneth: No, but I need to get in.
  • Gent: No sorry, but you can’t enter the room, it is full already.
  • Kenneth: (I’m thinking, could be this a signal for me to turn back and start running as fast as I can?, but instead of runaway, I found courage , I don’t know from where and I said to the gent). I’m the speaker, I really need to get in.
  • Gent: Or you could start with that, please come in. :)

Once in the room I start preparing my computer and I got ready to start 10 minutes before the session. So I said to the ppl in the room,

  • Kenneth: I’m ready to start, but the session is scheduled to start in 10 minutes,
  • People in the room: what are you going to wait for? The room is already full, so why don’t you start right away?

And I did it, the first 5 minutes were scary but after that the words start flowing and I started feeling very confident.

Tim and Kenneth Picture

At the end of the session, I got a full room, my evaluation were great, and got invited to speak in other places in USA, and all thanks to the speech of a guy in Tampa a few years ago, that later became a really good friend.

Thanks Tim Radney 

 

 

 

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