Things not to say when speaking at Microsoft

I was invited to speak at Microsoft’s Asian Pacific Leadership conference last week, an internal employee only event, and spoke in the McKinley room to a swell crowd of about 300 people. It was a nice event – kudos to all the organizers.

At the end of the talk, late in Q&A, someone asked about schedule estimation. You know, tricks for how to better predict how long things take.

After hemming and hawing, I mentioned wideband delphi, a good technique for teams.

The gentleman asking the question looked confused. I asked the audience. No one had heard of it either.

So I then say the last thing you should say:

“Oh. Just Google it.”

The entire crowd gave me a good spirited “booooo”.   Had there been a list of 5 things not to say, other than to ask about Vista PR or Zune marketshare,  this would have been top of the list.

Which I thought was embarrassing, but funny. I find it funny when I do really innocent, but stupid things.  I apologized, and felt bad, but it is in it’s way, comedy. A few people yelled out “Live Search!” to try and help me out. But I’d already blown it.

Hey, this stuff happens, especially during the spontiniety of Q&A.