Monthly Archives: January 2010

So you want to speak at Lotusphere 2011?!

As a first time speaker at Lotusphere 2010 – here’s my insight.

Speaking at Lotusphere 2010 was a great, great experience.  Scary?  Yes! Was it a lot of work? Yes!  Anyone who even remotely thinks that speakers don’t put a lot of effort into preparation, please come talk to me.  The speakers who have been speaking for years in a row with many sessions, who are able to make it seem “easy” — are “repeaters” for several reasons.  They do their homework, they are knowledgeable in their field, and they are good at what they do (speaking included).  My co-speakers: Gabriella Davis, Tom Duff, and Francie Tanner are prime examples.

I was somewhat unprepared for the amount of time I would spend at Lotusphere on session related work rather than attending sessions.   For one, there’s an activity called Tek Check’s – the technical check to make sure your laptop and other AV equipment is working as it should the night before each session.  The AV teams in each room go out of their way to make sure speakers sound good and the presentations come across crystal clear.  Additionally there are rehearsals and final slide reviews.  All good things, but there are just not enough hours in the day! And I am in awe of how some of these folks are able to present, attend sessions, cultivate business relationships, and have fun all at the same time.  They are marathon runners in their own right.

Here are my suggestions for folks who want to speak next year.

·         Start some form of endurance training now.  You’ll be glad you did.  You want to do this anyway.

·         Start networking with existing speakers and stay in touch with other bloggers and peers.

·         Avoid vendor bashing.  Write about unique solutions. Start blogging about your ideas – get the word out.

·         Submit abstracts for local user groups and ask for feedback if your abstracts aren’t accepted.  Look at abstracts from previous Lotusphere’s.  Think about what drew you to a session?  It’s not always about a sexy title, but about content too!

·         Practice, practice, practice your public speaking skills!  This is always good to do, but being on the other side of the aisle at Lotusphere will take the wind of out your sails on the first go round!

·         Remember to have fun!

So, if you decide to submit an abstract(s) for Lotusphere 2011, I wish you the best of luck!  I hope to see you there!

Lotusphere 2010 – This Nerd Girl’s “Revenge” Experience

A gleaming highlight of the Lotusphere 2010 week was sitting on the Nerd Girl’s Revenge panel with the following panelists:

·         Sandy Carter, Vice President, IBM Software Group Channels

·         Akiba Saeedi,  Program Director, Unified Communications and Collaboration, IBM Software Group

·         Mary Beth Raven, IBM Senior Technical Staff Member, Lotus Product Design

·         Eileen Fitzgerald, Vice-President Product Management and Customer Delivery at GSX

·         Kristen Lauria, Vice President, Marketing and Channels, IBM Software Group

·         Moderator: Gabriella Davis, Technical Director, The Turtle Partnership

To sum it up – WOW! What an extraordinary group of women – each bringing a unique perspective to the panel.  I certainly gained a lot listening to the experiences shared amongst the panel and the audience.  There has been some chatter in the community about why such a panel or BOF is even necessary.  Do women really still have issues of equality in the IT industry?  Are women passed over for promotions or treated differently with regards to job performance than men?  Sadly – yes.  And not just in the Americas, but all over the world.  But the panel discussion wasn’t just about equality issues.  The topic of establishing mentoring relationships and the different types of mentors was discussed. The panel also touched on how women might become more effective leaders or managers and ensure that young girls might follow their interests and pursue careers in information technology, engineering or science. [See WITI – Women in Technology International.]  For a transcript see Lotus User Group for Celia Hamilton’s write up of the discussion.

I also attended the BOF Thursday morning.  Again the need for networking and the use of social network tools like Twitter, Facebook, Skype, or LinkedIn to establish informal or formal mentor relationships.  [A LinkedIn group – Nerd Girls – has been created as a follow-up.] Be sure to check out the group, contact me or the panel moderator if you have any suggestions for further discussion topics.

My Lotusphere 2010 Presentation Slides

Here are the pdf’s for my sessions at Lotusphere 2010:

BOOT103 Running with Scissors: Sharpen Your Skills for a Pain-Free IBM Lotus Domino 8.5 Upgrade:  Francie Tanner, Gabriella Davis, Marie Scott
BP103 “Top Chefs” Share Recipes for Avoiding Everyday Server Disasters:  Francie Tanner, Marie Scott
SHOW106 Configuring The Tivoli Directory Integrator for IBM Lotus Domino and Active Directory:  Tom Duff, Marie Scott