I had a total blast speaking at SharePoint Saturday this past weekend. I admit I was slightly terrified at the prospect of speaking in front of a crowd of seasoned IT professionals… I was worried I’d get something wrong and provoke the ire of the crowd. But, as it turned out, the crowd was delightful and enthusiastic.
It went well, but I experienced particular delight in a trick I pulled that worked gloriously. Everyone who’s been to these sessions knows that people kind of drift in and out of them, as they discover that the session they’re attending isn’t exactly what they’re looking for, and that another session going on at the same time might be more fulfilling. Nothing wrong with that. This ain’t the theater, but it’s still slightly distracting for presenters.
So I thought, “How long would it take someone to determine that my presentation was not for them?” I guesstimated that it’d be about twelve minutes. So, before the presentation began, I wrote “9:12” on one of my business cards, and handed it out to a gentleman in the front row.
I began my presentation, and, lo and behold, someone starts making his way out. I glance at the clock on my presenter computer. 9:12 exactly! I say to the man in the front row, “Sir, what time does it say on that card I gave you?”
“What time is it now?”
“9:12! First walkout! I called it!”
I swear upon my very life that I didn’t pre-arrange it with the guy who left.