Yesterday I proudly presented a one hour training class about upgrading to Oracle 11.2 RAC at oracleracsig.org. This was the first time I presented using this facility and thought it might be useful for others to learn about the procedures and hopefully encourage other speakers to follow suit. It’s really straight forward and there is nothing to worry about! Especially if you are already familiar with webex, presenting should be a piece of cake. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So how do you get to present?
First of all, speak to the RAC SIG board, you should be able to get the email addresses from the website. You need to submit an abstract of your talk to the committee, and once they have decided to go ahead it’s all about scheduling. You should know that Oracle RAC SIG records your session, whilst Oracle University kindly provide the infrastructure in form of their Webex facility and conference calls.
The Technical Part
For those of you who don’t know webex, it’s a Cisco product which you can use to host web conferences on. It is very good for all sorts of screen sharing to a larger audience, and as a RAC SIG presenter you are effectively sharing your desktop with the participants. But image only doesn’t cut it, we need audio as well! Audio can either be part of the presentation stream via the webex-presentation, or you need to dial in to a toll-free number (available from http://www.intercall.com/national/oracleuniversity/gdnam.html). I have tested this both as a presenter and a participant, and it works really well. Just be sure to dial in 5-10 minutes early, as you will have to be connected to the correct meeting via an operator. This is especially true for the presenter.
Leading up to the Event
I suggest you contact Oracle RAC SIG 1-2 weeks prior to the event if your presentation has not yet appeared on the website. After all we would like some participants to listen to our talk! Remember that the website and everything is mainly run by volunteers so be patient and don’t expect a reply in 5 minutes.
When the time of the event approaches, roughly 3-5 days before it starts, you will get an email from the team informing you about the URL for the webex presentation, the dial-in code and some reminders for a successful session, which I’d like to repeat here:
- Use a landline – not cell phone. Voice quality suffers too much on a mobile device
- Don’t use a headset unless it is really, really good! Use the handset. It might even be that the use of a cordless phone has a negative impact on the sound quality
- Get on the webcast 15-20 minute s early to test connectivity and sound quality
Also ensure you send Oracle your slides to go to the website a few days before the scheduled event. At the time of writing, Dennis Karashima from Oracle was our liaison (again check the website for up to date information).
On the Day
If you are in the lucky situation that your employer actively endorses your presentation and it’s part of your work anyway, then it may be a good idea to use an office Internet connection and office phone (granted explicit permission from the company).
Otherwise, if you are not in the US, having a fast and reliable Internet connection upstream can really reduce latency. A good phone helps as well, and again, don’t use a cell phone, use a land line instead.
Roughly 30 minutes before the start of the webcast, join the webex as a participant, even if you are the presenter. The whole procedure is initiated from Oracle. Also ensure to dial in to your toll free number for the conference call. You are greeted by an operator, give him/her your passcode and they will put you through to the line where Oracle are already waiting. You are greeted by the very kind Dennis Karashima who is guiding you through the initial steps. These include a connectivity test for the recording as well as some feedback about audio quality. In my case, I was advised to pause for 2-3 seconds after slide transitions or animations to allow the other participants to follow. Again, a better Internet connection can reduce the latency here.
Only at that stage are you told to share your desktop-don’t try this before you are prompted :) After the setup is complete, you will hear the advertisement from Oracle University, after which it’s your show to run.
If you are in a situation to open a Q & A session, announce this at the end of your presentation and liase with the operator to get questions.
That’s it-not scary at all, and really something more of us should do.