Do you want to be an idol?

I get some quirky requests sometime.  Some of them are easy to ignore, some of them require a bit of wriggling to get out of tactfully, and some of them are unusual enough for me to take a second look at.

As soon as I heard about this I said yes, yes YES!

At TechEd ITForum this year, we get a lot of requests from external speakers who would like to present at the event.  Some are well known presenters, some not so well known.  Some presenters are seasoned, some are on stage for the first time.  But what if you’d love to present at TechEd (either Developers or IT Forum), but you’re unsure about your presentation style, skills, ability etc.  How do you get “in” to the speaker lounge?

This year, for the first time we’ve created “Speaker idol“, where anyone who wants to present, has the opportunity to submit a session of them presenting (3 minute clip).  Jason will be ther “Master of ceremonies” and I’ll be one of the judges on the panel every day.  The 12 finalists, will be on stage in the Community lounge in front of a panel of judges where we will narrow down to the final 2 presenters.

The winner: Gets to present a technical breakout session  at ITForum next year, and gets a free ticket.

2 runners up: Get free tickets to IT Forum next year. 

Here are the rules for submission:

  • Presentation submissions to be emailed to Speaker, together with participant name, company name, job title, email address and contact telephone number
  • Submissions limited to one per delegate
  • Contest open to a total of 40 submissions (I.e. opportunity for 40 participants to enter)
  • Submissions on a first come-first-serve basis
  • Once total submissions reached, no further submissions will be considered
  • Submissions go live on Monday 14 August 2006
  • Submission deadline is Friday 13 October 2006 – after which no further submissions will be considered


  • Presentation to be submitted as Windows Media Files (WMV) – using Windows Media Encoder (click link for free download)
  • Presentation to be filmed focusing on person conducting presentation
  • Presentation to have good, clear audio quality
  • Presentation can be on any subject relating to a Microsoft infrastructure product or technology
  • Presentation restricted to 3 minute duration (maximum)
  • Presentation file size not to exceed 5MB (maximum)
  • Participant to be judged on the overall style of the presentation and the way in which they present themselves in front of a technical audience
  • Participant to display a confident and persuasive style to develop rapport and influence the audience
  • Participant to convey presentation in clear, understandable manner to create maximum impact
  • Participant to be judged on presentation skills in the first instance, followed by the content of the presentation


So come on have a go.  We’re always on the lookout for good presenters.  Show us what you can do…