Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Python Trainers, Promote Thyself!

With the recent establishment of the wiki page on python.org of those who offer training services for the Python language, we now have 23 listed, worldwide.

Many of the trainers are individuals or small companies, and it can be hard to get the attention of the big IT houses. While skill credentials and a portfolio of past training gigs are important, perhaps one of the best promoters is when someone has actually experienced one of your classes. They gain insight into your speaking style, how you relate to the students and your ability to explain complex technical subjects in an approachable way. No class syllabus can convey that. The Python community has a valuable resource that can give you the next best thing. Screencasting!

Screencasting is a multimedia creation that focuses on the instructor's desktop, with voiceover guidance. It can be in the format of an online slideshow, a guided sourcecode walkthrough or a follow-along interactive session. They can be as long or short as you wish and they have opportunities for branding, by using custom wallpaper behind your talks desktop and musical lead-in/fade-out.

Screencasts can be hosted on www.showmedo.com or, if done with a large font, video.google.com. They can also be embedded in your website while being hosted elsewhere.

You can learn more about the details with a talk series I put together entitled Casting Your Knowledge, With Style.

But perhaps you're really busy on current projects and short on time. Consider arranging an audio interview about an upcoming seminar you're offering and making it available as a podcast. Ron Stephens of Python 411 makes available an excellent collection of podcasts and may be interested in hosting yours.

Unlike face-to-face presentation opportunities, screencasts/podcasts have the additional benefit that they promote your training offerings while you're busy on other gigs. It's almost like cloning yourself and having more time for promotion. It's all about leverage.

Jeff Rush
Python Advocacy Coordinator

No comments: