First Time Is Always A Charm


Last week I was asked to present the afternoon keynote at the Wisconsin VMUG.  I’ve actually been asked to present at multiple places so far in 2015, but this was the first run at this particular style of presentation.  Brian Suhr was kind enough to capture the entire thing on my video camera so I could review it and revise it for the upcoming ones.  I think it was not bad, but there was a few things I need to adjust.  Either way if you are going to Philly or NY/NJ you will see this live so maybe you don’t want to spoil it.  I plan on recording those as well and getting a final cut of this presentation with a better video edit of the slides embedded.

UPDATED 5/6/2015 –

I got some of the feedback and thinking about how to update the session.  What I presented was what I had in mind to use examples of my own life to help others see what can be done.  Was this the wrong approach?  Do I need to just do bullet slides on certifications?  What are some thoughts here?

  • Shortening some of the personal accomplishments highlight what attendees could do with the different certifications towards the end of the keynote.
  • People who weren’t sure about it were hoping for more insight into practical application – what should I do next, etc
  • Excellent talk, excellent speaker, excellent message leading by example.
  • Nice message I like the idea of VMware doing these sessions
  • Great speaker, I really enjoyed it.
  • Very good speech. Hit home on many fronts.
  • Loved the speaker was hoping more on the topic of VMware certs would be covered. For example entry level, then next, etc. For what he did present, it was excellent.
  • Great speaker, but not what I was looking for.
  • more about career development would be nice. An in-depth review of certification options and paths to include pros and cons would be great
  • Should’ve been 20% about him and 80% about us
  • He had an inspiring message, but his speech just went on and on.

Please leave suggestions below, I have to do this a couple more times, and I thought I nailed the message I wanted to present, but looks like there was a miss not talking just about certifications.  That to me just seems a little boring and the certifications are pretty well documented.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. I didn’t see the original abstract, so I do not know what people were expecting. I thought this was an excellent motivational speech. If the purpose however was to motivate someone to follow through to VCDX, I think you could have used 5-10 minutes of the time to outline how you approached it, and what you would do differently if you had to appropriate your time again.

    • For reference the abstract is here:

      The goal was to generally inspire people to strive for more, whatever the “more” happens to be

      • Cool… from the abstract, “the advantages of VMware Certification specifically the VMware Certified Design Expert program”. I think you talked about your journey, but could have nailed it if you really had one slide with your preparation outline, followed by one on how you would do it again today if you were doing it.
        I did however think your two timeline slides on the different jobs you had within the two organizations was very powerful to show you were constantly learning and growing.

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