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When your mission is dialed in and you are committed to a certain path, there are moments along the journey that remind you why you took the first step to begin with.

Richmond’s Microsoft SharePoint community has been a staple within my career since the earlier days. Their SharePoint Saturday event was one of the first that was established in the earlier days, and I genuinely felt good to see them relaunch the conference series.

User Groups enable passionate Information Workers the opportunity to make sense of the tasks, roles, and responsibilities they’ve been chosen to do. When User Groups are managed by visionary leadership, they take on the position of a Mentor, an organization that shapes and guides the careers of its members.

The Richmond SharePoint User Group event was hosted by Hunter (R) Willis from AvePoint who serves as a Product Marketing Manager and SharePoint Architect Erin Glenn from Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia.

The sponsor of the meeting was TECHEAD, of which Staffing Specialist Kim Morden Oliver described the company’s offerings and answered a few questions.

This meeting is the last of the 2019 campaign for RSPUG, so the pressure was on to deliver a session to close out the year.

High Stakes

My presentation topic was “Planning and Deployment Strategies for Modern SharePoint Sites”. My session represented more to me than just the delivery of PowerPoint slides and technical demo. This is the time of the year where I plan my content focus for all of 2020. I was curious to capture the audience’s reaction and feedback to my content. For that reason, I had a bit of nerves despite over 1,000 presentations completed in my career.

The narrative I was looking to deliver to the audience was to

Think before you Build

Just because you have the access to deploy new features, does not translate to your organization being ready to train and manage those new enhancements.

Setting the Stage

I also wanted to draw a clear line between Beginner and Fundamentals sessions. I view the Fundamentals as timeless truths that form the foundation to do advanced tasks and deployments with Office 365.

Audience Profile

90% of the audience was utilizing an on-premises installation of SharePoint. Very few attendees were cloud enabled within their workcenter.

Session Environment

I utilized an Office 365 Business license to demo SharePoint’s Modern UI.

The audience was responsive and offered candid feedback after the presentation. I enjoyed the process of preparing for the session and what I learned along the way.

Shadeed Eleazer is a US Navy Veteran and leading Reputation Management and Social Selling Thought Leader. He is the architect of the official websites of State of MarylandCommonwealth of Pennsylvania, and State of Wisconsin, which are powered by Microsoft SharePoint technology. He is the leader of the longest running Microsoft Training and User Group community of Maryland and a host of Microsoft SharePoint Saturday Baltimore, an annual 1-day conference, which is currently in its 12th year.

Photo credit: Andrey Karpov


Shadeed Eleazer

Shadeed Eleazer & Associates streamlines the growth of entrepreneurship through training, resources, and consulting services.