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My latest presentation May 8, 2007

Posted by Dave Marcus in General Security, Malware, Presentations.
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I posted recently about a presentation I was about to give at the DoDIIS Conference. I am pleased to say that it went well. I really like these types of conferences best – smaller venue, smaller rooms – ’cause it lends itself better to really good Q&A. I think presentations are truly about Q&A. I think it the ultimate test of whether or not you have connected with an audience.

The presentation itself was about malware trends. Two areas in general:

  • Financial Trends in Malware
  • Stealth in Malware

We then had some really good discussions about rootkits and proactive detection in anti-malware technology. I always like discussing proactive detection which usually comes from the “AV is dead” line of discussion. This area of discussion is a great opportunity to discuss the different types of “signature” or driver detections. Most exponents of the whole “AV is dead” line of thinking simply do not truly understand the main types of detections – specific, generic and heuristic. Most tend to think that AV detection is solely specific signature (or driver) detection. This usually gives rise to the whole “AV is dead” line of thinking. A friend of mine at McAfee, Greg Day, does a great job of explaining the differences in a paper he presented at VB2005.

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The Riddle of Storytelling and Speaking May 3, 2007

Posted by Dave Marcus in General Chatter, Presentations.
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At the moment I am sitting in a conference room at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago going over my presentation for the DoDIIS Worldwide Conference and I am feeling what I always feel before I present – utter excitement.

I have been presenting/speaking/storytelling for years now and I will be honest and say I have never felt fear prior to getting up in front of an audience. It has always made me feel energized and fully “in-the-moment” whether I am presenting to four people or four thousand people.

My presentation style (such that it is) is not very polished or overly rehearsed. I speak honestly and openly about security threats and trends using analogies, stories and humor. I also hold the uncompromising belief that McAfee Avert Labs is THE finest security research organization in the world.

I have recently been championing the value of communication skills, networking and speaking professionally. This has forced me to take a close look at what makes my presentations successful. Why do they seem to resonate? What makes a good presentation? What skills are needed?

Good storytelling and speaking is truly a riddle…… I have never really considered how I present. I, in truth, rarely ever “practice” or “rehearse” a presentation. Don’t get me wrong however because I really know my content. Backwards and forwards, I know my content. I also rarely go very heavy with statistics and numbers. I don’t think they really resonate with people. I don’t think people really remember them. People DO remember stories and analogies mixed with humor however.

Hmmmm….. maybe that is a route to pursue.

Re-birth and a bit of re-focusing May 3, 2007

Posted by Dave Marcus in General Chatter, General Security, Presentations.
23 comments

I have been away from my blog for quite some time. Believe it or not tho, this was intentional. It is not that I have felt I have little to say or contribute (most who know me would probably agree that I talk to much and am way to opinionated) but more around what I want to contribute to or converse on. That has been what has occupied me so much recently.

More and more I find myself fascinated by communication, mainly presenting through storytelling, and being drawn continually back to music. Presenting and communicating is an integral part of my career at McAfee Avert Labs – Threat Briefings, blogging, podcasting, journalists and analysts relations, etc….. are all, to me anyway, different mediums to tell stories and build relationships. And I love them all.

Going forward, that will be my main focus. Presenting. The guitar. Computer security. In no particular order!