How to Give a Presentation to Your Team

About a year ago I held a presentation to my team about Docker, and how we can use it for development. Since we’re working on backend, we need frontend (web app) to do something. It’s a bit hard to do everything with HTTP client. We usually had to hit up somebody on frontend team to build and run the web app for us. This meant that if they are out of work, we couldn’t have the web app. It came to me as a solution to use Docker, which can build images and we then just download them and run them on our computer. This way we have no dependency on our frontend team - except when we work together on a feature.

So I have built a prototype for this project and put it to the test for about a month. It held well, so I decided to introduce it to everybody on the team.

I held the presentation and it didn’t go quite as well as it could. I have made few mistakes, but in the end it all worked fine. Biggest problem was that I didn’t have structure, I said it was going to take about 15 minutes, it took more than 30… At least it was worth it.

Here is the list of mistakes I made when preparing and during the presentation:

No structure

I haven’t thought a lot about what I’m going to present to them. For example besides the project itself, I explained how Docker works, and I didn’t plan for that at all.

The solution would be to make an outline of the things that you’re going to present. This way you’ll know the scope of the presentation, anything beyond that can be held on next one.

Not shutting down things that distract everyone

This means I didn’t turn off Slack, browsers, other apps that shouldn’t be there during presentation, phone, etc.

Not keeping the subject abstract

What I mean by this is that your colleagues don’t have to know everything about technology. Just how to use it. In case of Docker, I shouldn’t have explained how it works. I should put it in few sentences the basics of Docker, and the way we will be using it.

The good thing is that I created few scripts and a readme file so they don’t have to remember most of the stuff. They can look at readme file, find what they need and use it.

It’s been a year now that we’re using Docker for this purpose and expanding the usage and I’m glad it stood well for us.

This post is mostly a reminder that we don’t have to present everything possible about the technology (or any other subject), but just the relevant information.