My first time on stage at Experts Live

This blog post goes about the Experts Live event in the Netherlands and my first time on stage

This time it is not a technical post about Intune or automation. I will tell you more about my first time on the stage of an event. Happy for me I was not alone, I have asked my colleague Gerjon to join me. He had already some experience and I thought it is easier to do a duo presentation. During our session, we promised our visitors to share the presentation. So, you can download our slide deck here. Sorry for the non-Dutch people almost all slides are in Dutch.

How it started

I have been working at RawWorks for some time now, I mentioned a few times that my colleagues Eltjo van Gulik, Ryan Ververs – Bijkerk, Gerjon Kunst, and a few others regularly speak at events. I was very curious about their experiences, so I asked how do you do that? What are you talking about? How does it feel to be on that stage?

After all, I had never been on a stage myself, but the more I talked about it with colleagues the greater the drive became. I thought maybe I should start with a user group. But which one, how do you get in touch with those people?  Well, that answer is quite easy. Just send them a message.

Ok, back to my story, on a Friday afternoon, I had a chat with some colleagues. In the Netherlands, we say “frimibo” (Drinking a MEMbeer on Friday afternoon with colleagues). After a while, we were back at the topic:  speaking at a public event. We saw the speaker request of Experts Live. I asked Gerjon to join me and speak together. My first thought was let’s go. It’s my native speaking language so that makes it a little bit easier to be on stage.

Gerjon and I scheduled a meeting to think about the topic of our session. We worked that out and submitted our session. I was getting already so much energy from thinking about the session, I asked another colleague to submit a session with me as well. So, two sessions were submitted for Experts Live.

After a few weeks, I received an e-mail my session with Gerjon was approved. I started thinking about it and I got nervous.

Preparing our Experts Live session

We scheduled a meeting to brainstorm the topics and examples. We had so many topics, I think we needed four hours to cover all our topics. So, I planned every Thursday evening to work on my topics. Every time when I was working on the presentation, I got new ideas. I called Gerjon, we must decide which examples we want to present. So, from eight ideas to three. I create my examples and Gerjon his. Now it was time to create our presentation, but the tricky thing was, Gerjon went on vacation, and then I went on vacation.

After our vacation, we planned a meeting to show our part of the presentation. We had more than 150 PowerPoint slides. Hmm, that is a lot, and we only have 50 minutes. We removed some unneeded slides and explained to each other what we wanted to tell on the slide.


The presentation was done, now it was time to practice our session. So, we wanted to practice in real life instead of using teams. So, we tried to create the feeling to be on the stage. A week before Experts Live, we booked a meeting room at the office to practice. During our practice we notice that the storyline was not perfect, so we changed and practice again.

The big day

Friday 30th of September was the big day. Our session at Experts Live. I drove to the event and went to the speaker’s desk. I received my badge and received additional information. My session started at 15:00. So, I decided to check my stage and I visited some nice sessions.

After lunch, I decided to prepare my session in the speaker room. In the Experts Live app, the visitors could already plan the sessions they wanted to visit. During the preparation, Gerjon showed me the attendees list and my reaction was “uh, so many people”. Uhm now I am even more nervous.

We had about one hundred people in our session. We started our presentation with some jokes and background information about our topics. We still had one hundred fifteen slides so quite a lot of slides, but we made it in time and answered some questions during our session.

I am so proud of myself that I have done this. Gerjon and I had a lot of fun and were happy with the session. Of course, we spoke about how we can improve, but we can say we did it and it was great to be on the stage. The next times will only get better.

Topics of our session

  • The power of Microsoft PowerPlatform
  • License
  • How would a chatbot helps your end-users
  • Example: How to automatically create a certificate of participation
  • Example: PowerApp to create a JIRA Ticket without using JIRA
  • Example: Document approval solution
  • Example: Intune Manager
    • How to duplicate your configuration profile
    • Automate the rollout process of your configuration profiles

My experience

Oh, what an experience to be on stage. I really enjoyed it. During the event, I met so many people and speakers. Some were super experienced and shared their stories, and others were less experienced and, like me, would be on a stage for the first time. But all the speakers that I have met were super friendly and helpful and took the time to chat with you.

If you want to be on stage as well. Don’t be nervous or scared. If you are talking about a topic that you like, everything will be all right. This will certainly not be the last time on a stage for me.

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