A few months ago, Andrew Clarke invited me to speak about PL/SQL tuning at a UKOUG Special Interests Group (SIG). I accepted, and today was the day. I woke up ridiculously early this morning and set off for Slough. I was totally knackered by the time I got there, so I spent most of the first two presentations yawning, nothing to do with the content. Then it was my turn…

I started off feeling a little nervous, but nothing major. About 5 minutes into the presentation I was meant to start talking about baselines, but all I could think about was code instrumentation. This threw me completely and my mind went totally blank. I mean completely! I must have looked like a rabbit in the headlights, because a lady in the audience (Seema) tried to prompt me. Anyway, the batteries in my brain must have reconnected because I remembered who I was and what I was doing and continued with the rest of the talk. As usual, once I got going there was no shutting me up.

When I finished the presentation I closed down Powerpoint and revealed the note I left on my desktop that read, “Don’t Choke!”. :)

It’s quite difficult to know what level to pitch these talks at. After-all, 45 minutes is not long to talk about detecting and tuning PL/SQL performance problems. Fortunately, Andrew gave me some good advice on that point, and apart from the brain-fade incident, the presentation seemed to go down well.

I’m not sure I’m a natural presenter, but I do think it’s fun. Although the preparation side of it is a bit painful.

Anyway, thanks to Andrew for giving me this opportunity. Thanks to the audience for coming to hear me speak. And finally, thanks to Seema for helping to kickstart my brain. I’ll drop a book off at your office tomorrow morning!