Today Lalith, Bruno and I presented Cassandra. A distributed database with high availability and partition tolerance. I.e, the A and P of the CAP theorem.
Overall we were pleased with delivery. We got some good feedback from our professor and our colleagues. One comment addresses something which I try to mind when shaping presentations.
Sometimes your presentation is directed to a public which is familiar with Distributed Systems. This is PADI, but many people don’t have Distributed Systems as their major or minor, but Software Engineering. I’m not familiar with a lot of systems you talk about in Parallel Computing or Cloud Computing.
We should always start with the audience. Who is listening to our talk? What do they know? Why are they here (apart from attendance)? Where do they come from? We should think about this before we start thinking about content, structure, and other presentation mechanisms that we can use in our delivery.
Probably we thought about it too, but not to sufficient detail. I thought: “they’re students like us.” Now I know, next time I make a presentation, I should do my audience analysis more carefully and avoid generalising too much.
Thanks for the feedback!