The Journey is the Reward: Speaking for SQLPass, where do you start?

I’m heartened by the numbers of people who are expressing an interest in speaking at events. In particular, I understand that SQLPass had record numbers of people submitting to SQLPass Summit in Charlotte this year. For me, this is especially important because it suggest that more people are interested in speaking and sharing their SQL Server knowledge. It also shows that the community are supportive of a SQLPass Summit event in Charlotte. This energy shows the strength of the event itself, rather than being tied to a particular location i.e. Seattle. As much as I love Seattle, I have never been to Charlotte and I’m excited to be visiting a new part of the United States. In case you are wondering, I am Scottish 🙂

I am not part of the session selection process for SQLPass so this blog is based on my insights from the community only.  How do you get experience so that you can speak for events, perhaps with the goal of speaking at the SQLPass Summit event, which is the pinnacle of every SQL Server guru’s career?

It can seem to be a vicious cycle: you can’t speak because you don’t have experience, and you don’t get experience because you don’t speak.

This isn’t true!

There are plenty of opportunities to speak and here are some:

Come and join me and give a webinar for the Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter. This is a great way to start and you will have the full support of myself and Julie Koesmarno, who helps with the Chapter as I do. We can help you to get started. The sessions last for about one hour, and we do 45 minutes talk, and then 15 minutes of questions.  Why not give it a go?

Your local PASS Chapter – come and attend your local user Group, and see how you can get involved. Take a look at the PASS site for some thoughts

Your workplace – why  not try a ‘brown bag lunch’ session, whereby you and your team all take turns to present on something? It is a safe environment to learn, and you might even enjoy it!

If you didn’t get a slot at SQLPass Summit this time – don’t be disheartened. There is a Chinese proverb: The journey is the reward. Keep going, and who knows what will happen? You’ll learn, and make friends as you go along. Submit again next year with more experience under your belt, and more knowledge of your subject. Good luck!

A special note for UG leaders – make sure and support your new speakers. Mentor and encourage them. That person might be the next Brent Ozar or Kalen Delaney, so give them the opportunity to grow. We are all part of a community and we can help one another!

Good luck everyone! Please email me at if you’d like to give a webinar. I’d love to schedule you in, and help you get started!

Jen x

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