James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

The joy of feedback [again]

The joy of feedback [again]

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I make a point of saying at the roadshows that we read all the comments and take note of them I wanted to share one particular comment but first off I want to give you a flavour of what people said they liked at one of last weeks events; here they are, as posted.

  • Good demonstrations.
  • Venue! much better than the last Technet I went to
  • Cinema venue was comfortable and presentations were easy to see.
  • As usual, very well presented and informative. Good venue.
  • Clarity of speakers and how excellent delivery. Great hospitality and lunch!
  • The demos - done very well by real techies with good communication skills - thank you.
  • The humour and real stories.
  • Feature demos and examples.
  • The location was surprisingly effective. The guys really knew their stuff.
  • Very clear presentations with well timed breaks
  • Presentations were excellent, very informative and entertaining. All the speakers communicated well and kept the presentation flowing. The presenter shared good banter.
  • The style of presentation from the presenters. Very informative and enjoyable.
  • Event was well presented, and at a resonable pace.
  • Reasonable venue, good investment in food/drinks to keep people on board, not too advertorial/ sellsellsell, some free stuff, reasonable level of knowledge by the team, good parking and easy (ish) to get to, I had a 200 mile round trip. We could hear the presenters and see the screen which is always a good start.
  • The friendly but professional presetation of the event.
  • Hands on demos and labs sessions. coffee and cake in the morning was much needed and very good. Presenters we're also excellent and really worded as a team. The software trials were also extremely generous.
  • I also liked the presentations and speakers, while done very professionally it wasn't deathly serious.
  • Professional and yet informal putting people at easy.
  • Easy going , informative and entertaining.

We know that everyone doesn't always feel the same, and we had one person who must have got close the space limit with the following comment in the what could we do better section. It's worth reading just for the penultimate sentence which I've put in bold.

Presentation skills were somewhat lacking, no co-ordination of presentations/presenters, the projector was WAY out of focus and left me with a headache, what were your technical staff doing during the sessions? They were not wtaching and helping you out with mic/tech issues thats for sure so get new ones. The presenters jokes were so bad they could be on "The IT Crowd" (this is not a complement btw), bin the hats we couldn't see your eyes and this means nobody trusts you plus they just looked daft, when asking for a poll to prove a point be sure it's going to go your way as several didn't which was embarassing, public transport links were non existant, the American guy may not want to bother with Environmental issues like power saving but it's my organisations 4th most important issue (our electricity bill is circa 1.4Million UKP/year) send him back to his oil rich Texas ranch please or get with the program, how come the only females on the team were Georgina (relegated to admin functions) and some leggy microphone holders? Can we please have some diversity in your team of techno boffins. Along the same lines I could see 2 of the presenters trying very hard to keep their "don't suffer fools/women/managers/boss/customers gladly" attitude under control, trying and only just succeeding. Please educate your presentation team that "in jokes" should not be done whilst on stage, they may make you laugh but they make the audience wince and think your unprofessional. Bin the hats. Use a video mixer instead of a kvm switch and for goddness sake have a corp. screen to drop back to if your still fidling with powerpoint because we don't want to see it. Get better compressed video's for your presentations and better specced machines to play them on. Music: was it supposed to sound like a tinny 80's set of headphones? I think the sound engineer was taking the piss, get a new one. It was difficult to kick off conversations with other delegates, maybe a larger area between sessions/larger name/company fonts on the badge and most importantly some facilitators in the audience/foyer to get people talking. Some parts of the presentations were slightly too geeky and this was more pronounced when things did not go to plan. Once things went out of kilter it just looked tragic, sorry. Don't get me wrong though, I did enjoy the day and I will come to some more as/when they are advertised. I was expecting something a bit slicker but at the end of the day it could have been a whole lot worse.

 

As for the lack of women presenting, Eileen opted not to present on this tour, and we don't have any other women on the team. I understand that when I was hired no woman applied, I know because I interviewed all the candidates for Viral's and Andrew's roles that no woman applied for either of those either. That's why Eileen spends time trying to get women into technology. I don't know why the company that stage the events for us have women as "meeters and greeters" , although the women in question might be a little surprised to be called "leggy". As for 2 of the presenters trying to keep their "don't suffer women gladly" attitudes under control unless this was a reference to Steve pulling Viral up on his use of "Guys" to mean "people" instead of "men" - think of "Friends", where everyone calls everyone "you guys" regardless of gender.

Comments
  • James - I think you will probably need a very large crane to pull this guy out from his own arse. I was at the Newcastle event and thought the event was excellent, as usual!

    Perhaps he could save his company some cash by switching his PC off for good and get a position with the diplomatic corp - we should be at war in no time!

    Was he from London by any chance??

  • I didn't present this time as Windows Server 2008 and hyper-V is not my subject of expertise.  I was there at all of the events though but took a back seat this year as we didn't launch any of "my" products although you'll be sick of the sight of me next year though :)

    I was the first IT Pro evangelist hired in the UK, and after 4 years in the role we've never had any women applying for the jobs that have come up from time to time.  It's a perfect role for a woman though (just let a woman buy a pair of really nice shoes and watch her evangelise to the world...)

    As for Diversity - we have UK Northerners, Southerners, an Asian / American, a woman and representations of ages from early 20's to late 40's.

    And their humour...? That's as diverse as I'd ever want to experience - and that's one of the reasons I hired them...

  • You could always tap into the Microsoft Alumni to up the female quota occasionally ;-)

  • Wow... that's a lot of negative points in one feedback section!  I don't personally agree with any of them, but each to their own.  On a personal note, one of my points was mentioned yay!

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