Organised speaking – Throw 1, Speak 1

Following up from my last post on maintaining my session abstracts, I wanted to cover how I’m doing my scheduling this year for speaking at events. Perhaps more importantly than tech, is the intention and the planning process so I’ll be covering these factors in more detail than the tech.


I make use of Google services quite a bit, and their calendar system is a great help. So this year I’ve added a calendar that has all mine (and hopefully Oz’s) speaking engagements.

I’m then utilising a WordPress plugin called GCal events to connect to the calendar and pull the info into a page.

Throw 1, Speak 1

The goal this year is to throw one user group event and speak at one event each month.


Last year, I just did whatever I felt like doing in terms of running my SQL user group in Cardiff and presenting at different bits and bobs.

It went pretty well, in the sense that the user group had more than 20 events, and I spoke at SQLBits, SQLRelay, SQLSaturday, the PASS BI Virtual Chapter, and the Birmingham & Cardiff user groups.

I was quite haphazard about it and in some cases I did more than 5 presentations in the space of a month and then in others I didn’t do any. Thankfully I only did a couple of different presentations but it doesn’t seem scalable or sensible to do it the way I have done so far.


The way I see it, setting out my plans means that:

  • I have to measure it
  • under-achieving results in me feeling crappy thus prompting me to be better
  • if I do too much then in many respects I’ve also not achieved my goal so it’s a good brake on my tendency to over-work. I really don’t want to make Oz a SQL widow!

Throw 1

I’m covering this in-depth in the blog post Throw 1 which discusses my upcoming plans for user groups.

Speak 1

I’m covering this in-depth in the blog post Speak 1 – coming out soon!


Hopefully, I’ve provided some insight into the labyrinthine scheduling criteria in my crazy world. I think it’s important to be upfront with yourself about what you can realistically keep up and what you’d like to achieve. Once you know these you can build a plan and set about achieving it.

Getting into speaking is easy, and it really helps so even if you don’t speak regularly, why not contact someone near you to speak at their event? Or get in touch about speaking in person or remotely at SQL Cardiff!

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