The Talk at SAP Labs

This turned out to be a different kind of an experience - and fun, at that. That was expected, since I was giving such a talk for first time.

Part of the problem while giving a talk is finding out what the audience expects OR would be interested in. I didn't have a very good idea, but guess I did a decent job. I tried to tell a story with pictures, following a model of an earlier talk that I had attended. That worked.

The talk spanned around lunch (they have FREE food!), and lasted 3.5 hours or so. Pacing the talk turned out to be an interesting problem, but that was purely from my perspective. I wanted to cram in all the detail that I could. But what I didn't realize was that the audience may not be interested in all the details I would want to include. As the talk went on, I got some hang of it ! There weren't any hardcore cycle riders in the audience, and skipping some details really didn't make any difference to them...

The good things about the talks

  1. Covered many things I had learnt over time.
  2. Audience didn't seem bored

The things I thought I missed covering

  1. Dynamics of having a companion. I was running out of time and I completely forgot this!
  2. Didn't talk too much about my reactions to adversity
  3. Completely skipped West Coast Rally - again no time
  4. Didn't answer some FAQ style questions. I wanted to sing the song "Mera Joota Hai Japani" and answer the most common ones by comparison. I completely forgot this planned activity.

Audience size was 11 - an easy going bunch. Many thanks to them for giving me a patient hearing ! I hope they had a good time. And thanks again to Jayant (for inviting me), Venkat(accompanying me around SAP) and Satish(for recommending me for the talk). Jayant has been organizing regular non-technical talks for his team, and that's most commendable. It's also something I think others can learn from. Finally, I'm liking the gift that I got : a coffee cup with Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote on it, "Our best ideas come from others".

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