How to succeed at at TechFieldDay!

While at Tech Field Day 6 in Boston, thank you Stephen for the invitation and Claire for setting up everything, I had the opportunity to make some observations of how best to succeed as a presenter to the Tech Field Day delegates.  Tech Field Day delegate love to talk about technology, but we also talk about bad presentations. This is not how you want us to remember your company. So without much further ado, here are the basic rules.

  • Know your audience! We are usually extremely technical people with in-depth knowledge of how the technology theme chosen for the specific Tech Field Day works. You may have delegates that have written books on the subject you want to discuss, who know intimate details of those technologies, etc.
  • Do your homework on who will be the delegates. Speak to them not the general audience. Know which ones use your products and assume we are looking at them in our environments during your discussion.
  • Pay attention to the live feed and understand the sorts of questions we have been asking. Be prepared to answer those same types of questions. View older live feeds to understand your audience better
  • Keep your presentations Technical. We were part of Tech Field Day because we are Technical people
  • Be interactive, repeat questions, and do not hide behind your tables. Keep our attention but be cognizant of where the camera is at all times.
  • Do not quote other analysts, we want details not analyst quotes
  • Do not tell us your market share, management team, etc. Do not show us marketing slides. We did our homework, why did you not do yours?
  • Stage your live demos so you get to the GOOD parts quickly, do not bore us with setting up users, etc., use videos appropriately
  • If we ask a question about comparison to other products, assume we did our homework and that we know what we are talking about, marketing answers are inappropriate

All this sums up to one very good statement para-phrased from another conference, “Cut the —–, Show us the Product(s)”. We are there to see your product(s) so that we can fully understand what it is, and make our own decisions on how it fits into the overall fabric of the Tech Field Day Theme. We may even surprise you and show where your product(s) fit-in quite a bit differently than you expected.  Keep your slides to a minimum, use good contrasting colors and get to the technical details quickly!

Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

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