Preparing to Present in Beijing

I made it to Beijing yesterday with no problem. There was a car waiting for me at the airport, and one of the speaker managers met me at my hotel shortly after I arrived. They even provide a loner dopod SmartPhone for use while I’m here though I’m not sure who I would call. I went to the attendee dinner last night and on to a party for local partners. I spoke to a few people, including a gentleman from Digital China who reads my blog. It’s nice to be recognized at all, much less as an International Man of Architecture.

After dinner, I worked for an hour or so with the translator for my Metropolis session, Quanzhan. Quanzhan is from China, but he’s now a program manager in the Windows Server division at corp – his office is just on the other side of campus. He’s here doing presentations of his own as well as helping out as a translator. I’ve met at least one other Chinese person here who works in Redmond – I’m guessing presenting TechEd China provides a great way for these folks to visit home and also give back to the community they are from in some way.

Delivering these presentations via a translator will be an interesting challenge. I’ve never worked thru a translator before. Each session has it’s own unique challenge – Data in SOA is very technical while Metropolis is pretty abstract. I ended up cutting 20 slides from today’s Metropolis talk in order to ensure I have enough time to hit the important points. Presenting this way requires a truly conservative approach to word choice – even though my session is 75 minutes long, in reality I have closer to 30 as everything I say has to be spoken twice. I’m grateful that Quanzhan and I spent the time last night going thru the presentation even though we were both exhausted. I guess we’ll see how well the session goes today, but I think we’ll do well.