I had a chance to attend one of Steve Riley’s sessions today and it as one of the best presentations I’ve seen. Steve Riley is a security expert at Microsoft and has been involved in the work that has gone into BitLocker and other Vista’s under-the-hood security features. The content of Steve’s presentation was not all that out-of-this-world, but his personality and way of presentation was so captivating. He would not use the stage, instead he walks just over a metre infront of the first row of the audience. He would walk back and forth and often stopping infront of people, looking at them right in the eye and kept talking. Sometimes he’d even walk up half way the sidewalks to get closer to the people at the back. It sounds weird, but it felt like he wasn’t presenting to the audience, but more having a chat with the audience.
Frank, the DPE group manager of Microsoft Australia, He hasn’t been on digg, techmeme or Wikipedia, but he sure knows how to communicate. One in every three persons at TechEd wants to talk to Frank, and Frank will always respond with their name (apart from it printed on their badge) and know what they do.
He can start a conversation with anyone and everyone, and make sense. He knows pretty much every field of work and research at Microsoft Australia and is passionate about every single one of them. He’s always relaxed, whether it is minutes before an unprepared presentation or the keynote, he makes it seem like he doesn’t even have to present at all.
He’s one of those people that you feel comfortable with whenever, wherever. And it’s fun working with him.