Speaker Idol is back at #sqlpass for 2022

Selective focus photography of microphone

Redgate and the PASS Data Community Summit have agreed to host another year of the PASS Speaker Idol competition. Everything will be staying the same as it was in prior years. We do have a slightly shortened schedule this year as we had to make sure that everything was going to work as planned, but that shouldn’t impact anything as far as preparation or making the competition as great as always.

Just like in prior years there will be four sessions. Three preliminary sessions which will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then a finals session on Friday afternoon. Each speaker presents a 5-minute session to our panel of judges (to be announced later) and they get feedback from the judges on the spot. The winners from each session will move on to the finals along with one runner-up selected by the judges to move forward.

The winner of the 2022 speaker idol will be awarded a session at the 2023 PASS Data Community Summit (and they will be our first known speaker for next year’s summit). All are welcome to enter (pending T&Cs below).

The scheduling at the PASS Summit in prior years was as follows (there’s no guarantee that it’ll be this schedule this year, but this is what he did in the past).

  • Wednesday session in the afternoon
  • Thursday session in the afternoon
  • Friday session first thing in the morning
  • Finals session end of the day Friday afternoon


You must have spoken at one of the following events (or a large international event, in a format other than a lighting talk, where your session had at least 30 minutes of content delivered by you):

  • SQL Saturday
  • Data Saturday
  • SQL Bits
  • SQL Server Days
  • Microsoft Ignite
  • Dev Connections
  • Another large event with a national or international reach

You have not spoken at the PASS Data Community Summit, PASS Summit of PASS Business Conference for a breakout, spotlight, or pre-con session. (If you gave a lightning talk and no other session you are eligible.)

You are not scheduled to speak at the 2022 PASS Data Community Summit.

You will be in Seattle during the Summit (attending the Summit isn’t needed, and if you aren’t attending the Summit we will get you to the session room for Speaker Idol).

You are available to attend whichever speaker idol session(s) you are assigned to (including the final session on Friday afternoon).

You have a 5-minute presentation which you can give. (Time management is your responsibility.)

You sign up on the registration form before September 9th, 2022 at 11: 59:59 pm (23:59:59) according to Microsoft’s time function in their forms application.  Late applications can’t be considered, so just don’t be late. There’s plenty of time.

You are not an employee of Redgate.

You are not employed by a sponsor of Speaker Idol.


If a contestant drops out of the contest before the PASS Data Community Summit starts the organizer (Denny Cherry) will reach out to the next person on his list that wasn’t accepted and offer them a position in the contest.  People will be offered spots in the competition until someone accepts.  The organizer will NOT announce how many people if any turned down a spot in the competition.

If a contestant drops out of the contest during the PASS Data Community Summit (for purposes of this clause “during the PASS Data Community Summit” is defined as from the time that Denny gets to Seattle, which will probably be Saturday before the conference, until Friday afternoon), no changes to the lineup will be made.

If a contestant wins their round and cannot continue to the finals for any reason, the runner-up from their round will be declared the winner of their round and will be moved to the finals.

If a judge is not able to complete the competition, they will not be replaced.

Other Idol Rules

The wild card winner will be selected by the judges at the end of the Friday morning round from the runners-up from each round.  If a winner is not able to compete in the finals, and the runner-up is already speaking in the finals, the judges may consider all contestants from that round as eligible for the wildcard slot.

Judges do not have to recuse themselves because a friend is in the competition.  Judges are expected to be fair (We’ve proven that over the years we can act like adults.)

You are responsible for your travel to the PASS Summit to compete in this competition, as well as any entrance fees to the conference if you choose to attend the conference.

Presentation Format

You may present your session in any format that you’d like. 

While you can use any format when giving your presentation that you’d like, it is recommended that you use a format that will show the judges how your presentation skills will translate from a 5-minute session to a 75-minute session as that’s how long the PASS Summit sessions are.

Contestants are allowed to watch the other sessions during speaker idol and make changes to their presentation as they see fit.

Signing Up

In case you missed it above, the -> Sign Up Form <- is there.

Stay tuned for announcements on the judges and the contestants.  (Judges won’t be announced until a little later.)

What’s Next?

After you sign up, shortly after the sign-up period closes, the applicants will be sifted through, and the 12 contestants will be selected and emailed.  They’ll have a short period of a couple of days to accept the invitation to compete.  Once we have 12 “yeses”, we’ll all get on the phone to talk through what you should expect, talk about what kinds of sessions you want to give, and get any questions answered from this year’s 12.

That’ll give a few weeks for the 12 contestants to put together their slides for the speaker idol and prepare to give the best 5-minute sessions that they can.

See you at the Summit,



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