I’m attending BC Ed Online, a conference in Vancouver, and a Microsofie named Mike Parkhill (VP for education) gave a presentation.
The guy was cool, he was interesting, he was humble, he mentioned Macs complimentarily, and he was smart. Much different than my perception (and past experience) of Microsofties.
The lunch keynote has to be the toughest keynote to give. Everyone’s eating, utensils are clicking, and people are talking with friends and schmoozing with new contacts that they think will help them get ahead in any of a million different ways.
Then some person intros you (no-one listens to the intro at all). And then you’re supposed to get on and actually say something. Tough job.
Mike was smart. He started out with a great animated powerpoint synced to a cool song which he played at huge volume. Everyone shut up, everyone watched, and everyone was entertained. That bought him the right to be heard, and he didn’t screw up when he ran through his presentation.
Very smart. Very enjoyable. Very good!
The conference, by the way, is actually interesting. I’ve met quite a few sharp people who are working on all kinds of cool educational technology (open source stuff like Moodle and OpenOffice, collaboration stuff like Open School, WebCT, and First Class).