Sunday, September 11, 2011

Braincramps in Dealing with the Audience, or I know better than that....really

I've been beavering away at the Service Oriented Architecture course I'm working on for Learning Tree and just taught the latest version of the course in New York city. I think that this version is the best so far but, sadly, it provided a great example of how I commit blunders that I would spot in a second--in any one else's work.

For instance, the audience for this course is a combination of business people and developers (I know this). The course focuses on what matters to both groups: making sure that you're working on the right things (I know this also).

However, that didn't stop me from dropping in six slides of low-level technical detail that was only sporadically connected to something that the audience would find interesting. I probably spent as much time answering questions about "How do I use this material?" at the end of the section as I spent going through the section. But the worst part was watching everyone's eyes glaze over as I marched through the slides. That horrible thought: "I'm losing them."

Any way, I went back and restructured the material around what matters to the audience: How do I pick the right technology for me. I also replaced some of the low lever detail either with content that the audience would value or, better yet, with nothing. And I then discovered, now that the section made sense, that it formed the perfect introduction for the chapter that it's part of.

Life's like that. At least it was only six slides rather than the whole course (that was my first version of the course).

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