As the year draws to a close I tend to find myself reflecting on the years events.
This year has held some amazing experiences including :-
- The birth of my son – although a more than normal traumatic birth with several weeks in NICU
- The chance to see my step daughter in her first principal part on the stage
- An exciting new EUC specialist role
While you may question the relevance of the first two (other than me being immensely proud) I have found they have taught me two valuable lessons.
Watching my son develop and my step daughter improve her singing and stage presence has made me reconsider what is acceptable when it comes to training.
I have always been happy to do qualifications and have always had one in my sights. However, I would be the first to admit that at times I have lacked focus.
Given the opportunity the new year brings and the chances for training I wanted to lay out what would be appearing on my training plan and detail what are some of the resources available to me (and YOU) this year.
What is there to learn?
The short answer is lots!! However, given my new found enthusiasm I wanted to see what would be some key skills to focus on.
I admit that this desire is part influenced by Simon Longs Pink Shirt quest.
Just before presenting I panic and worry about every little thing but afterwards I find I enjoyed the experience. A VMUG is a great experience to present at as they tend be like minded people and one that myself or Steve Lester can certainly help you with. If you are considering your first step into presenting then help is at hand through the #feedforward initiative.
The initiative is a mentoring program set up to support and encourage VMUG members to present their experiences by preparing them on a one to one basis with advice and guidance.
The most common feed back we hear from members wanting to present is “I have nothing interesting to say”. This couldn’t be further from the truth, your unique experiences, deployments, disasters (we all have them) are all valuable. If you dont believe me take a look at James Killbys recent blogs on when he cut his teeth on VMUG presenting.
Survive the network talk.
If I am honest I find networking the least enjoyable part of my role. That being said with some great encouragement from my good friend Dean Lewis and some excellent plain speaking training from Chris Bryant I intend to increase my knowledge in the networking space to be better prepared for VMware NSX.
As Neill Mills mentioned in his “Ask the Agent” at our latest VMUG, there is an opinion that a VCP just isn’t enough any more. So with that in mind 2015 will see myself and Steve Lester embarking on the VCAPs, which discipline (Design or Administration) has yet to be decided.
To help us in this goal we are looking at creating a study group with training and whiteboard sessions which may run before our normal VMUG events, so let me know if this is of interest to you.
Public Speaking Skills
Those who know me will know I am most comfortable when the conversation is technical, or about clay pigeon shooting. The fact that I know this and still agreed to run a social event never ceases to surprise me. As Neil alludes to in his blog post, those who can present to all levels are those that excel. I can present to the different levels and engage in conversation but it certainly isn’t a skill that comes easy to me, so my intention is to become more educated in the ways of speaking and meeting discipline.
With this section I have no resource or link to give you, in fact I am hoping you can help me!
I am looking for some presenting courses, or training where I can improve my public speaking skills. If you have anything that may be of interest then please feel free to reach out to me.
The Other Thing…
Near the beginning of this longer than normal post I mentioned that my (step) children’s experiences had taught me two lessons, so what was the second?
Without sounding preachy and more of a reminder to myself it is to enjoy the little things. I have been known to not switch off and to keep on working, with numerous reminders that I do not have a particular good life work balance.
This year has taught me that not only is it beneficial to stop and enjoy your surroundings but it actually helps you be more engaged and focused in your work.
Put simply, it took my step daughters stage performance, and my sons difficult birth to remind me that to enjoy something, to do it well and do it passionately, you have to have a chance to miss it.
Thanks for reading