This blog post is a follow-up a blog post in the series of the blog post I am writing for my most popular online class Practical Real World Performance Tuning with Brent Ozar. In this blog post, we will discuss how do I do class preparation and setup.
Here are the earlier articles, you can read where I share my experience of building the course.
- Practical Real World Performance Tuning – Before the Class Announced
- Practical Real World Performance Tuning – Fun and Reviews
So far, you have read how I prepare have come up with the course idea and what I try to cover in the course. Today I will discuss what I do right before the class and right after the class to make sure that I deliver expected performance to the audience.
Social Media – One Week Before the Class
The training dates are usually set months in advance, so I always I usually start preparing for each class one week ago.
A week before the class, I start writing down various social media posts about the class and experience which I plan to provide during the class. This is very important as many of the participants in the class are following me on the various social media outlet, it is important that they feel part of the comprehensive experience.
I usually write on the following aspects of the class on social media –
- What will you learn in the class
- How will be an online training experience
- How to access the previous classes recordings
- What other users have learned and shared
- What kind of setup they would need to have a good experience during the class.
- What do they need to do for live interactions
I have seen social media posts build a good positive vibe for the attendees right before the class starts. Additionally, social media exposure and interactions help attendees who want to sign up for the class but not sure about the entire exposure.
If you want to connect with me on social media, here are my social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
On The Day of the Training
My primary source of income is a Comprehensive Database Performance Health Check service, which I provide. I am usually booked a month in the advanced. However, just to prepare for the class, I never take any engagement a day before or on the day of the training. I spend my available time rehearsing the demonstrations. I want to make sure that every single demonstration works.
We usually schedule the time of the training which is convenient to Pacific Time USA or Eastern Time USA. As I stay in India, it is usually evening time for me. On the day of the training, I never take any other engagement so I usually have plenty of available time. I usually spend my available free time in Gym with my wife doing a workout on the day of the training.
Those, who are interested, I am CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Level 2 trainer and I practice CrossFit Methodology for the training. On the day of the online training, I practice a long workout, which somehow gets me more energy and confidence for training.
Technology Setup – Class Preparation
It is critical that I spend this one-hour focused on the delivery of the training. Here are few things I do during this last hour of the training.
- Set up the bright lights
- Reboot internet modem
- Reboot all the home network routers
- Setup home camera
- Turn on backup internet connection
- Setup various computers (6 Computers – 8 Screens)
- One with SSMS
- One with Slack
- One demo code folder + GoToWebinar Console
- One with backup internet and SSMS
- One with backup Slack (which posts polls)
- One with Bangalore Time
- One with US time
- One just running internet speed test and Ping connectivity test
I also use 300 MBPS internet line during the training to make sure that attendees feel that I am sitting next to them during the presentation.
I like to roam around during my presentation, yeah you read it right. I walk around and do crazy stuff during the presentation. I use SteelSeries Wireless Headphone which has noise cancellation. Lots of people have complimented me for amazing sound quality and clarity of the voice. Honestly, the credit goes to the microphone as I stay at a place where constant constructions work is going on (for at least the next 2 years) and home pet dog is barking continuously.
I also use a Logitec HD camera for a live conversation with the audience as well. I plan to soon upgrade it to a 4K camera as well.
During the Class
There three important aspects of the live class.
Slack – Active Engagement
The best part of the class is interactivity. Brent always says as the classes are live – we must have top-notch interactivity with attendees. I think he has found an amazing solution. We use Slack to communicate with the attendees. Slack solves multiple problems which usually people face during the class. First of all, it is a very linear communication solution. Just like in the real life how we converse, absolutely in the same way we can do conversation in the linear fashion. Slack does not have threads or any other subgroups concept. Once one person subscribes to channel they can continue engaging with everyone in the channel. The best part of the Slack is the polls which we can post and have active engagements.
Brent Ozar – The SQL Master
Though I do the majority of the talking during the class, the contribution of the Brent Ozar is no lesser. I think no one actually understands how much efforts Brent puts behind the scenes while I am doing the talking. Each and every question, which we receive in the Slack, Brent tries to answer each of them most of the time. He keeps my class interruption free. While I present the demonstrations, Brent keeps on answering any upcoming questions which users have. After every demonstration, Brent makes the demonstrations superlative with his expert commentary. If you read the reviews of the course, quite a lots of people have said they have found Brent’s summary of the class paramount. Without Brent’s active engagement and honest participation, this class would be boring dry session. I think it is the friendly banter and active communication keeps users awake and entertained which essentially increase their ability to learn more.
100% Demonstrations & Interactive Games
I must give some credit to our novel experiments. After presenting this course multiple times, we realize that we do not want to bore people with any useless theory. Our goal was to teach people the real learning which they can use immediately in their work environment as soon as they end our training. Additionally, after spending the considerable time we decided that we want to train people with the such a way that they never forget what we are teaching them. The goal is to create solid strong core memory which will help attendees permanently. The idea behind this concepts is inspired by the Pixar movie Inside-Out.
You will be surprised that after the training you will be able to retain over 95% of the learning.
Finally – After the Course
After the class, Brent and I hang around for a while on the Slack channel and answer all the question. Though the scripts used in the session is already shared at the beginning of the class, many often download the scripts after the class. Additionally, we provide details of the next action items and some important resources. Trust me, by the end of the class, people are so much intrigued by the newly learn knowledge, many often directly go to their production environments to start to implement various suggestions.
Here instead of me saying anything, I am just going to directly share the screenshot of the original reviews which we have received for this class.
If you are a professional who is looking forward to quickly learn how to do Practical Performance Tuning, you can join us on this journey to learn Practical Real World Performance Tuning.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)
Thanks for the behind-the-scenes insights, Pinal.
Mind if I pick up on your recommendation there on the steelseries headset? Good to hear the perspective of someone not using them for gaming or on consoles. :-) Which version do you have? And is the noise cancellation referring to the mic or the headphones or both? Thx.