[kwlug-disc] Review: Short presentation night

Raul Suarez rarsa at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 8 15:22:53 EDT 2010

--- On Tue, 6/8/10, John Van Ostrand <john at netdirect.ca> wrote:
> > What did you think?
> I was part of it and didn't mind condensing my
> presentation.

Whether it is 20 minutes or 90 minutes, the presentations are always teasers that entice us, the audience, to learn more about it. In that sense, condensed presentations are as good.

One thing I saw yesterday is that due to the time constraints, the speakers didn't have time to create context and got down to business too quickly. (Not picking up on the presenters, but the format).

I still didn't get a clear idea of why I'd like/need to compile a kernel other than because I can.

Or what is the difference between recabling the way John explained or just puting a filter in each outlet without touching the demarcation point.

In general, 3 of the presentations felt more like tutorials than presentations.

A longer presentation allows for context, not just raw knowledge. I prefer reading a tutorial; but a presentation to me, brings that personal connection to the topic. Presentations to me are more like conversations with the audience. 

> > Did the diversity of topics provide something for
> everyone?
> Yes. And the ones that didn't flew by quickly enough.

Increasing the number of presentations will bring a larger variety of content.

One problem I saw was that as some people were interested in some presentations and not others, there was a lot of back noise. Maybe making it clear that there will be time to mingle after the presentations may help.
> > How soon should we consider doing another short topic
> >night?
> Every month, or perhaps just most months.

I takes almost the same time to prepare a 20 minutes presentation than a 90 minutes presentation. We would need a lot of presenters to be able to fill the void or the quality of the presentations may suffer. And I'm saying "may". I am an optimist and I am convinced that the casual, organic nature of the group will ensure that we'll still be OK.

> > What changes should we make to improve the next short topic night?

One of the things I like about this group is the lack of formal structure. 

I think that speakers will adapt gradualy to the format based on the feedback.

One lesson I found valuable is that there is the flexibility for short presentations when possible and longer ones when required.

I wouldn't like to stick to a single format.

Raul Suarez

Technology consultant
Software, Hardware and Practices
Twitter: rarsamx
An eclectic collection of random thoughts

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