A Speaking Sabbatical

Lately I’ve been thinking about taking a break from doing presentations. Not sure what triggered it – maybe just a sense of wanting some more time for other things.

I’ve been doing presentations on a regular basis since 2006. Before that it was once a year at PASS and maybe something at work. Along the way I’ve taught one day and all week classes. Teaching is fun and useful – those of you who do so know what I mean. It still requires effort though. Effort to write the presentation, which usually means digging into something deeper first. Then practice, revising based on feedback, getting comfortable, and then – for me at least – picking a new topic for the year and repeating the cycle. It adds up. Certainly not as many as some (Kevin Boles!), but a lot.

The effort then is a combination of how often you pick a new topic and how often you present it. It’s certainly possible to reduce one or both. The biggest driver for me on picking a new topic once a year is thinking about the local groups. It’s nice to have something new to show them. Frequency has been driven by trying to do more with the Florida groups (such as my trip yesterday to Clearwater) and the many events we have in Florida. A few years back I decided to scale back to one event a quarter and that worked out to be a good rhythm – when I had the discipline to stick to it. I hate to miss events!

So part of this is about time, part is about effort, but part also is about enthusiasm. A sense that I’m not growing, or growing in the right direction. Whether that’s true, or I’m just tired, or both, it’s hard to tell. In any case taking a break is the start of figuring that out.

It won’t be a vacation though. I’m on the NomCom (meeting every two weeks for a while) and I’m on the SQLSaturday Orlando committee (meeting every two weeks for now. I’ve got a couple of blog posts PASS that I’ve had in draft for months – need to get hose finished, and I’ve got a lot of work to do on the Student to IT Pro seminar plan for this year too.

SQLSaturday Orlando will be October 8th year. That’s close to six months from today which seems like a reason amount of time for a sabbatical. I bet it goes by all too quickly.