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PASS 2009 Tuesday – Opening Remarks and Keynote

KUDOS to Wayne Snyder!

If you have read my reviews of past PASS Community Summit events, you probably know that it is a bit of a pet peeve of mine when speakers run over their scheduled time.  Taking a more positive approach this year, I’d like to commend PASS President Wayne Snyder for realizing he was running out of time during his opening remarks before the Microsoft Keynote, and cutting his talk short, skipping over a couple of his last slides.  I’m sure that the valuable information he had on those slides will be presented to the membership at a later time; perhaps in Rushabh’s remarks tomorrow, and it allowed Microsoft to get started with their keynote on time.

Unfortunately, Microsoft did not follow Wayne’s example and ran long again.  This has happened countless times in the past at the PASS Summit.  I know, I know…they’re a founding partner, they give a LOT to the community and this organization in particular, I should cut them some slack, etc., etc.  That’s true, and I do…hey, I stayed through the entire talk this morning instead of getting up and walking out with so many others.  And sure, they have “the right” to do whatever they want and will be given a ton of leeway by the organization and the Board.  On the other hand, it’s still rude.  And I’m sure that both Bob Muglia and Ted Kummert have given enough talks to know how to manage their presentation time better.

“But wait!” I hear you say, “they also brought several people up on stage to do demos and talk, so it’s not all Muglia’s and Kummert’s fault.”  I say, it is still their fault because they should have planned their overall keynote to have enough wiggle room for those extras to run long and still wrap up on time.  That’s really how you manage your time as a presenter.  It’s hard to guess exactly how long it’s going take you to get through your talk even when it’s just you doing the talking.  So you organize your talk so that the key points fit well within the allotted time, even if you get sidetracked by a technical glitch or a long Q&A.  And then you come prepared with bonus material that you can get into if there is extra time at the end.  Not surprisingly, this is how Wayne was able to get through his session on SSRS that came right after, and was cut short by, the long-running keynote.  It even stated directly in the abstract in the book, that he would cover topics X and Y, and “if there is time available” he would also cover topic Z.

Well done, Wayne.