Michele comes to Vermont


(forgive the crappy photo – it’s really hard to take one good pic of speaker and audience in a dark room and darn, all the chicks were on the edges of the room – but there were a bunch!)

Almost a year ago, Michele and I arranged through INETA for her to come to speak at Vermont.NET and of course come for a fun weekend visit. It was originally scheduled in June, when the lupine were in full bloom and “livin’ is easy”, but unfortunately, in late May, Michele had some unexpected travel coming up so we rescheduled for September as she was already planning to go to Jim Murphy’s group, NHDNUG in New Hampshire.

Although the weekend thing didn’t work out wtih everyone’s crazy schedules, Michele and I did get to spend a really fun day hanging out and hiking in the Appalachian Gap on the Long Trail. Luckily for her, the leaves have started turning early, so it is really beautiful here right now. She really had an insane trip, flying into Boston from San Diego on Sunday, driving the 4 hours to my house that night and then had to drive back to Boston on Monday night after the user group meeting. So I really wanted to be sure it was worth the effort she had put in to come all the way here.

Reading this post-meeting entry on her weblog, I think we did okay!

After a fun day on Monday we drove into Burlington for the meeting which was at a new location- the revamped offices of Gardener’s Supply which is in a very special place called the Intervale in north Burlington.

Although I had told everyone the meeting would end at 8 so that Michele could get on the road (she had an 8am talk in Boston at SD East the next morning), she ended up giving us the equivalent of two incredible presentations and talked until 9!

I have never seen Michele present before and I was really bowled over by not only her knowledge (which I am *well* aware of 🙂 ) but her really professional presentation style. Although quite focused on her content, I did keep thinking about my presentation style (which is pretty nascent right now) and wondered if time and experience would help me come near her confidence (which I’m sure she will say is just percieved) and ability to communicate deeply technical information.

I have to say that the women at the meeting were pretty thrilled to witness Michele. The only other woman that has ever presented at our group is me and I really have paled in comparison to most of the other pros that have presented there. So it was everyone’s first real experience of having a serious female presenter. So for the women, I think a lot of them were just really psyched because they suddenly didn’t feel as out of place as usual as the group is naturally dominated by guys. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes these things really do matter even if you don’t want them to.

All in all, I think Dave Burke’s post sums up the general feeling of the whole group about Michele’s presentation. It was basically….awesome.

And to top it off, she was wearing a pretty cool shirt from Newtelligence!

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