Richie asks Brent what’s a MCM (Microsoft Certified Master not Man Crush Monday) and what was his journey to becoming one. Cecil and Brent discuss the relevance of certifications today. Brent describes what it’s like being a popular speaker and how it adds anxiety to every presentation. Brent tells he became a great speaker and describes his pre-speech rituals. Finally, Brent tells how he got married in Vegas in a red convertible Mustang.


Brent Ozar Unlimited


Brent_Ozar_BioBrent Ozar loves to make SQL Server faster and more reliable.  He created sp_Blitz® and sp_AskBrent®, and he loves sharing knowledge at He holds a bunch of certifications and awards including the Microsoft MVP award.

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4 comments on “Episode 22: Brent Ozar Loses His MVP

  1. It’s always awesome to hear @BrentO talk about anything. I haven’t been in any of his in-person session but that’s definitely in my list.

  2. Sigh. I left Microsoft in 2000. By then I had written ten out of twelve books on Microsoft SQL Server, Visual Studio and data access interfaces. Back in the day, I was asked to review the certification tests being developed. After having been overruled by the test developers on the types of questions being asked and the proposed answers, I stormed out in frustration. Questions such as “How can you get an Access database to support two dozen users?” made me crazy. No, I’ve never been a fan of these tests and I totally agree with Brent. And no, I never attempted to pass the certification tests, but for some reason, customers kept asking me to help them get out of trouble and speak at their conferences. I also didn’t pay any attention to the list of “certifications” on potential employee resumes. I could tell if a potential trainer or developer knew his stuff by asking them to solve real-world questions using similar limited-information scenarios.

    Since then I’ve taken up writing fiction. It’s far less stressful. 😉

  3. As to the tips on speakers, I’ll have to disagree with hiding in a green room. I love the twenty minutes before a talk as this is when I start early (which makes the organizers crazy). When I test the microphones, I would intentionally break up my voice to get the attendee’s attention and make the sound people crazy. I start asking people questions. “Why are you here?” “What do you expect to get out of this session?” These live interactions make me seem more human and relaxes my voice. And I agree, speakers need to be ready for the stuff that happens. Something always goes wrong. Like being locked in a bathroom. Virtually anything imaginable has failed: travel plans, demos, systems, sound systems, wrong session, fellow speakers (fainting, freezing), or having someone give your talk in Chinese just before your keynote inBejing (true story). The trick is to be prepared. Like Brent, I had fallback plans for (nearly) everything. While I didn’t keep hand puppets in my pocket, I did show Camtasia videos of my most important demos in case stuff happened. In the case of the Chinese keynote, I wrote another session while the session was going on. Flexibility and rolling with the punches is the key.

  4. Hey Now Richie Rump;
    Good podcast. Interesting to hear some talk of speaking & presenting.
    Thanks for the info!

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