More than one person has asked me, “Why are you running your own pre-conference event instead of doing a PASS Summit pre-con? Isn’t that a bad thing, like you’re taking away attendees from PASS?” I really, really want to do PASS pre-cons again, but for now, it all comes down to a few gotchas in the PASS speaker contract. At PASS, we’re not allowed to use our scripts. The speaker contract says: You recognize and agree that the purpose of your session(s) is to provide educational content and is not to be used as a sales or marketing platform. Personal contact information…Read
If you’re a community SQL Server presenter who wants to travel around to regional events, SQLSaturday pre-conference classes can help pay your expenses. I’ve settled into a sales routine that seems to work for me, so time for me to share it with you and keep moving the community forward. Teaching a pre-con in Pittsburgh Understand what you can teach in one day. Hone in on your target attendee, define the pain they’re facing, and come up with a list of actions they’ll take as soon as they get back to work. Figure out the fastest way you can teach them how to perform those actions.…Read
No pressure. Nooo pressure. The call for abstracts is open for the PASS Summit, the SQL Server industry’s biggest event. Every year, people just like you throw their hats in the ring, only to be told they have ugly hats. Here’s how to dress up your hat a little: How to Pick Blog & Presentation Topics – don’t write about what you learn. Write about what you already learned. It doesn’t seem sexy to you, but that’s the whole point – you’re already an expert on doing that thing. Define Your Presentation’s Attendee – no, your session doesn’t have something…Read
Things are gonna go disastrously wrong. Sure, every presenter should bring their laptop, a wireless presenter remote, an array of video adapters, a stack of business cards, and so on. But that’s just assuming that things go right. Here’s what I carry to help reduce the carnage when things go awry: Slippery Elm throat coat lozenges. Speaking for an hour or more can burn your throat up, especially if you have to yell because the audio system isn’t working well. These things are like magic. I take one as a preventative measure when I start setting up my laptop, and I’ll…Read
No matter how good you think you are at something, you’re not really that good until: You can explain it in clear, concise terms Someone else reviews your work and agrees Someone reviews your work, disagrees, and you’re able to explain why you do what you do I’m not saying everyone will agree with an expert’s work, but an expert is able to hear the reviewer’s point of view, understand it, and explain why the two people are coming to different conclusions. Public communication isn’t necessarily the first step to becoming an expert, but it’s one of the required steps, and…Read
I wasn’t gonna write about this, but I keep getting emails that say, “ZOMG, you weren’t accepted to speak at the PASS Summit? What’s the deal?” It’s totally okay – I didn’t submit, and I’m not attending either. tl;dr – I just wanted to try something different this year for a bunch of totally okay, not-political-at-all reasons. I want to help as many people as I can. When I do free community work, my goal is to help as many people as I can at a time. If I spend an hour working on community stuff, how can I help the maximum number…Read
From about 2012 to 2014, this was my about-me slide at the start of a presentation: About Me, 2014 I’d show that and say, “I’m Brent Ozar, a Microsoft Certified Master and MVP. That just means I’ve made a lot of expensive mistakes, and now I try to help other people avoid those mistakes. I cofounded a consulting company with a couple of my best friends, and it happens to have my name on it.” Then I’d go on to the next slide. In early 2015, we switched to widescreen presentation templates, and for a quick temporary fix, I switched to six…Read
Last week, I spoke at Microsoft Ignite in Chicago: Where’s Waldo? (click for full size) I had an awesome time, and evidently the attendees did too – as I write this, I’m in the top 10 of 1000+ sessions overall. Microsoft does a couple of things different than other conferences I’ve attended, and if you go in knowing these, you can build a better session. Ignite session registration numbers are available in real time. Both my registration numbers and my room capacity were in the speaker portal leading up to the event. Room size influences my session delivery, so knowing that I had >500 registrants…Read
Even in 2018, $100 webcams still have pretty crappy video quality. They have tiny sensors that don’t pull in enough light. Here’s the output from one of the best Logitech webcams out there: Logitech webcam output Ugh. Faded, bad colors. Instead, check out how a GoPro Hero looks as a webcam: GoPro Hero4 as a web camera – same room, same lighting Awww, yeah – what a difference. Here’s how to make it happen: Buy a GoPro Hero 5 – if you’re only using this as a webcam, don’t buy the more expensive GoPro models. The webcam video only uploads 1080p video…Read
I’m heading out on a tour through Europe to speak at SQLRally Nordic and SQLBits London. Here’s what the schedule looks like: Weds, Feb 25 – fly out of Chicago to Frankfurt. Thurs – fly from Frankfort to Copenhagen. Fri-Sun – enjoy a weekend in Copenhagen and adjust to the jet lag. Mon – teach an all-day pre-conference class at SQLRally Nordic. Tues – teach a one-hour conference session. Weds AM – fly from Copenhagen to London, get to the conference hotel on the other side of town. Thursday – teach an all-day pre-conference class at SQLBits. Friday – teach a one-hour…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in Iceland with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.