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James Luetkehoelter

Nearly any SQL topic presented at times in a slightly eclectic manner.

OT Question: Silly, or not to be

...that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suff the slings and arrows of outrageous boredom, or take jokes against a sea of technedium...

OK, there's no such word technedium, so I'm copywriting it now - if you use it you owe me a quarter :) Technedium (noun): 1) Tedious details associated with any sort of technical materials, 2) any "some assembly required"-manual

Seriously, I have a question for those who would answer. I recently had a comment after finishing a class that said "Good instructor, but he was a little strange. Maybe if he didn't use all those silly voices" - that isn't verbatim, but you get the general idea.

This threw me - for those of you that know me or have listened to me speak or teach, you know I'm a little, well, weird. This is deliberate - I'm trying to keep things as lively as possible while discussing things that could potentially put one to sleep. Many people like this. Apparently there are some that don't.

My question to everyone is - do I abandon my persona and try to adopt a more "normal" approach when speaking and teaching?

Published Monday, November 12, 2007 9:10 AM by James Luetkehoelter

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andyleonard said:


  Don't ever change for anyone.



November 12, 2007 9:23 AM

Hugo Kornelis said:


Go on in your current, silly way. At least until I finally get a chance to see you present.

Maybe I'll change my mind after that <vbeg>


November 12, 2007 9:33 AM

Paul Nielsen said:

If this were easy, normal people would do it  ;-)   I say present with a little more enthusiasm than possible.

November 12, 2007 10:20 AM

roman said:


don't change your style, you're just fine, I personally liked your style. I remember a guy who was presenting at TechEd last year and his laughs, screams and jokes were so bad that people were leaving his presentation shaking their heads. The funniest thing is that at the beginning he even mentionned that he gets comments about bad jokes, but said he was going to do that anyway. He knows it annoys people but he still chose it to be his style to keep people focused. Kinda like Tony Little in his annoying informercials. I am not implying at all that you are anything like that, just saying that sometimes people do this just to make sure the audience keeps listenning.

Few things I learned from my conference speaking:

- you can never please everybody in the room

- no matter how good the presentation is, at least one person thinks you suck

- don't take things too personally

You can use valid feedback and improve next time. Something like - "We couldn't hear him in the back", then you know you should speak louder or use a microphone. But if one person says it was too basic and another says it was too advnaced, there is nothing you can do to satisfy both of them. In your case, I am pretty sure most people liked your style.

November 12, 2007 11:04 AM

David R Buckingham said:

While I've never listened to you speak, I would certainly appreciate it being kept lively.  If the topic is "technedius" (Do I owe you a quarter for a variant?), we all suffer from periodic caffeine/nicotine/sugar/<insert your pick-me-up vice here> deficiencies that a lively approach combats nicely.

November 12, 2007 12:03 PM

AllenMWhite said:

James, your presentations are great - don't change a thing.  Enthusiasm is the key, and if you're self-conscious about your delivery you sacrifice that enthusiasm.

Some people take this stuff too seriously - if it's not fun, find another line of work!

November 12, 2007 12:31 PM

Scott Houston said:

Don't change!  I have two thoughts on this.  One is you will always come across better if you use the style you like and are comfortable with.  Second, the mind is able to best remember what is different/unusual/funny.  Whether people like it or not, we are emotional beings so appeal to the emotional.  

November 13, 2007 1:41 AM

Frank Veprek Jr. said:

James - I've seen you present at PASS, and your 'quirks' make the presentations more lively, less droning and immensely more interesting than most. Please, please don't change.


November 27, 2007 3:56 PM

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About James Luetkehoelter

I am passionate about what I do - which is DBA, development, IT and IT business consulting. If you don't know me, haven't met me or have never heard me speak, I'm a little on the eccentric side. One attendee recently described me as being "over the top". Yup, that about says it - because I only speak on topics that I'm passionate about.
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