Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The call for papers for the UKOUG 2012 conference ends in less than three short weeks! If you were planning on going to the conference (and even if not) - you should consider submitting a paper.
I've been a long time supporter of all of the user groups and their conferences and I can attest to the quality of the UKOUG event. The conference is chock full of technical talks with hundreds of sessions to choose from. There is something for everyone there.
If you've never presented before, don't let that deter you from submitting a paper. No one knows the anxiety that public speaking can bring better than I - I've written about it before. You'll find the conference to be an entirely different experience on the other side of the podium. In addition to the experience of presenting, the networking and exposure that comes with being a speaker won't hurt you at all. Whether you are a DBA or developer - having good public speaking skills is a necessity today - and using the conference as a way to build those skills is a great way to start.
Additionally - what you have to say is important and relevant to the user community as a whole. A good conference needs a lot of speakers, from many diverse disciplines, with diverse backgrounds - the more speakers the merrier. Don't think you don't have anything to offer - everyone does. And don't feel that your topic wouldn't be interesting to someone else - it will be. There are a lot of people out there trying to do some of the same things you've done and they'd love to hear how you did it.
That is one of the things about user groups I really like - they bring together a lot of people doing similar things - but in a different way. You'll learn something new - and they will too.
The UKOUG is one of the larger and well run conferences out there - don't be afraid to talk. Challenge yourself to get up there and just do it. You won't be sorry (ok, maybe in the minutes leading up to it you will be - but you'll get over that :) )
Hope to see you there - and don't chicken out!