MURPHY’S LAWS OF MEDIA
If anything can go wrong it will
Equipment knows when you’re nervous
No two plugs are compatible
Slides are always upside down
Computer files are always incompatible
If it worked yesterday, it won’t work today
— that’s progress.”
Ian Hart, University of Hong Kong, via Glitch Management for Internet Instruction
You will feel it very interesting and real if you have delivered some training.
Me, as a trainer
I am marching on my path to a professional trainer. Sometimes I am very puzzled about what are my key competencies. After sometime, I realized training and presentation skills may be the one that counts.
I started in Dalian
The first official training I delivered within Microsoft was held in June, 2000 in Dalian. It was on BizTalk Server, the very new product to everyone, even within Microsoft. The training was thought highly by participants and this kicked off my training experiences.
Later, with the launch of BizTalk, as the only one who had delivered most BizTalk sessions, I presented BizTalk Server in lots of events, such as Web Interactive Conference – I presented 40% of the sessions for the series of talks, covering topics on UDDI, Next Generation Internet, .NET, BizTalk, and How to Improve Performance of web site.
Later, I got the opportunity to introduce BizTalk Server in China CIO/CTO Summit in Beijing and Shanghai. It was a tough session since the time was deduced from one hour to 15 minutes for me due to emergencies. I finished the job successfully. It was very cool, I believe. It was on that meeting I know a lot of CIO/CTO of most famous .COM company at that time (Sina, Netease, 3721, Sohu…) I love this experience very much.
Wow! Famous DevDays and TechEd!
Very soon, I spoke at two largest technical events from Microsoft – Developer Days 2000 and TechEd 2000. It is interesting that all the presentations concentrated in Nov, 2000. For TechEd 2000, it was held in three different cities. It was in that month I created my record of fly 8 times in two weeks. I counted that I altogether presented more than 15 sessions that month.
Keynote speech demo of Microsoft .NET Launch
The most exciting presentation I delivered was also in November 2000. I joined with Dr. Jun Tang, now the Present of Microsoft (China), to present the key note for Microsoft .NET Launch. It was a grand launch and the keynote speech was the first session. More than 1500 people and about 300 medias attended the keynote speech. My part was a BizTalk demo of about 20 minutes. I’d like to thank Jun for giving me the opportunity to work with him and the trust he gave me. You know, I was under very high pressure since the demo cannot fail. This also marked my record of most audience – 1800+ in a single room.
Meeting the giants of the industry
Based on the training experience, I got more and more opportunities to meet with our partners in the industry. I started with .NET training for enterprises from South East Asia. I still clearly remember how embarrassed I was when half of the audience kept shaking their heads during my presentation. “What is wrong with my presentation? Is there any thing wrong with my English?” I checked again and again, until finally I realized they came from India. They were expressing “Yes” by shaking heads – it was the difference in culture.
The same culture shock continued when I was invited to attend an Intel Company Meeting of Asia Pacific. The audience came from all countries in AP area. People are using English with different accent to ask questions. It was really interesting. I was also very honored to attend Siemens Global IT Managers Summit. “Siemens means quality and Microsoft means innovation” – Dr. Tang said during the summit. I still remember that and think it was just to the point.
Transition from presentation to training
After delivering more than 50 presentations with an average of 150 audiences each, I got a little bit tired for presenting to too many people. I double how much they can learn via this kind of lecture. I also doubt the technical depth I can reach via this kind of “What’s New” or “overview” At that time, I took the responsibility of Software Park project. It is all about bringing software development process and practices of Microsoft to software companies in China. It is much meaningful and I felt the power to influence a company and contribute to the country in much large scope. I researched and prepared a training course called Microsoft Development Management Training with my colleagues. We presented the session for 12-30 people at a time and started our road show in different cities – Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, Nanjing, Suzhou and Chengdu…. I will continue to bring the session to more cities and to more companies.
At that time, I attended a very good training delivered by PAAP. It is called Developing Effective Trainer Skills. The trainer Richard Ong did wonderful job to deliver the training and I learnt a lot. After that, I decided to develop more trainer skills and go further in the path of professional trainer.
Helping others on training skills
Now, I am playing more important role in the company for improving the organization’s trainer skills. From yesterday, I presented the forth Train the Trainer Training (TTT) named Creating Effective Workshop in the company. I love to see how the ideas of Experiential Learning and Handling Tough Situations bring a difference to everyone’s training and improve the training quality in an organization.
Nothing is perfect
There was an emergency during the after session of my training. Due to system replication error, the record of the room I booked got lost and caused conflict. I have to pause the training and wait for the future. That is the reason I posted the poem at the beginning of this blog – it always remind me, there is always emergencies in the training and there is always some thing to improve.