Presenting in front of a live audience in 2022

Presenting in front of a live audience in 2022

This past week, I delivered a keynote for a local event here in the heart of Helsinki, Finland. Siili organized the event – and it was surreal. You wake up in the morning and start thinking about what to wear. You pack your bag and triple-check that the trusty clicker is with you and that you have a fresh set of backup batteries also.

I traveled to the venue to meet and greet the organizers and the audience. Here’s a picture of me during my presentation:

It was an invite-only event to share experiences and ideas about the future of the cloud. Note, not just Microsoft Azure but also Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and “the other clouds.” I like these, as the content is less focused on existing technology and more on ideas, strategies, considerations, and high-level ideas.

PowerPoint automatically created the slide you see in the picture above. I added my profile pic and hit Design. I’ve started to rely more on stories and less on bullet points in the content for these less technical talks.

About one-third of my talk included thinking around sustainability. I found this awesome image from Amazon, which I feel nicely captures the responsibilities in the cloud between the platform provider and the customer:

Upon researching this topic while crafting the session, I also checked my carbon emissions in the cloud. Sadly, Microsoft Azure has more minor features for this (unless you’re an Enterprise customer, then see here), but Cloudflare that I utilize also has a dashboard for me to view.

It looks sad.

Admittedly, that’s the stats from 2020, and I’ve since utilized Cloudflare more, so I’m anxious to see this updating in the coming months.

Interestingly, most questions and discussions after my keynote revolved around three things: managing cost and consumption in the cloud, multi-cloud approaches, and what to do with legacy services and platforms.

I now realize that we’re headed towards the pre-2020 levels of in-person events and live sessions. Perhaps remote and virtual events are here to stay, but presenting in front of a live audience is still the most rewarding – for me, as a presenter, I feel for the audience as well.