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It's 
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SENSEMAKING

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Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations

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    Entries in conference cringe list (2)

    Monday
    Dec232013

    The Conference Cringe List - Part 2

    Following on from, curiously, Part 1, there are more things at the events I am often speaking at or graphic recording for that make me cringe. These spotted in the past fortnight. 

    Onward...

     

    • Why that uninspirining 'holding slide' of the event logo, name and the word 'Agenda'? Bluh. It's so uninspiring. Use full size visuals or some slides (plural) to outline the agenda or use none.  
    • The currency you need to focus on is time. That's what people are really spending when they're there. Make the event efficient, engaging, creative and 33 times worth the price they are paying to be there. 
    • That theatre-style seating you've arranged and the interactive speaker you've got on the program, are not a match. If the room is jammed with seats because the venue you have is too small, you've failed. If you've attracted more people than you thought, you needed a bigger venue. 
    • The long, seemingly unrelated items on the agenda are nauseating. Have section themes for focus and make it build up to a crescendo, not whimper off into a corner.
    • That awesome adventurer/motivational/inspirational speaker you paid for (wow they were good!) has just been negated by your dull executive who wanted some 'air time'. What a waste of time, money, energy and the result of your poor planning and flow. The mood has changed and it's on you to bring it back up again. Good luck!
    • And that dull executive that wanted the 'air time' - oh dear... so focused on trying to get a key message across, they had no heart, no soul, no passion. D-u-l-l. That equals no leadership. They're not as good as they think they are at presenting. You are stronger than you think you are to persuade and influence them to not do it or do it very differently.
    • Doh - You made it about you the organiser again! Why do you say 'when WE were designing this day we thought...'. Just deliver a brilliant event. You'll be thanked for it. You don't need to claim the designer kudos in the first three minutes. 
    • No I'm not going to 'bear' with you while you 'read this out' - and then you read a written story, list of points or other wad of information you're already feeling bad about reading out. Frame WHY you're reading it and then get on and read it with your best acting skills, as if you're an Academy Award winner on their 12th take. Sell it to me. I'm not bearing with you on anything, particularly if you ask me to.
    • Ok, you have a cold or flu. Gee, thanks for telling me as your first key point. Now I'm not going to shake your hand or be within breathing distance of you, all day. No need to apologise. Don't say a thing about how you feel. Get on and do great work speaking, presenting, leading and inspriring.

     

    Yeah, there are more. I'll definitely need a Part 3. 

     

     

    Monday
    Nov182013

    The Conference Cringe List

    Yes, there are some things to avoid when you next bring the team together to deliver some inspiration, motivation or realignment to the strategy.

    This list is from the intersection of some of my very specific experience as a facilitator, performer and MC. The job of the conference is to inspire participants, engage delegates and attendees, share knowledge and information. It’s not to serve the speaker, leader who is presenting or the organisers. 

    I’ve got a lot on my ‘cringe’ list that I’ve seen over recent weeks…

     

    The Conference Cringe List – Part 1

    • Why are the blinds closed in this room? Lighten it up. Your PowerPoint presentation is not THAT interesting that you need a darkened room. And a darkened room for a title slide? Oh come on! For a few minutes maybe, but not all morning, or all day.
     
    • Still, quiet, silent even. Yeah, that’s really inspiring. Put on some music and pump it up. It helps engage the ears of the audience, lifts the mood, sets the tone and can present a style, brand or theme for the rest of the event.
     
    • Announcements titled ‘Housekeeping’. Oh yawn! Yes there are important things to present and announce; don’t diminish them by lumping them together under ‘housekeeping’. Whoever listened up for important housekeeping announcements? It quite simply means ‘don’t listen to this.’
     
    • Amateur microphone technique. ‘Is this on?’ ‘Can you hear me?’ Stop holding it like it’s a bridesmaid’s posey and hold it more like an icecream – up near the speaking part of your body, your mouth! Your chest, stomach and groin don’t speak. Not in words people want to hear anyway!
     
    • Don’t aplogise for your PowerPoint slides. If you need to apologise, don’t show ‘em.

    • Stop stealing time from invaluable break, refreshment, nuturing and networking time because your agenda ran over. You stuffed up – someone spoke too long and was not politely reminded to wrap it up. Don’t make your delegates suffer for these amateur stuff ups.
     
    • Why did you promise we’d all be ‘up and moving soon’ and 45 minutes later we’re still seated? You may promise, but you need to deliver that promise real quick!

     

    Oh I could go on… I have another 25 points here but I’ll save them for parts 2 and 3...