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Posts Tagged ‘prepare

In my Presentations page I share the more recent keynotes and talks I have done. I prefer workshops, but these are not as straightforward to conduct and present as a portfolio of work.

I have had to do talks for about ten years as a former university professor and especially now as a consultant. During this time my process has evolved and refined.
 

Stew by jeffk, on Flickr
"Stew" (CC BY 2.0) by jeffk

 
My main process is to stew, especially when I have months-long lead time. Take my recently concluded keynote, Don’t Play Games with Gamification, for SIM Global Education as an example. I met the organisers in late July and I started outlining, collecting thoughts and ideas, and organising in Evernote on 28 Jul 2016. I delivered the keynote on 22 Oct 2016. That is a three-month slow cook.

A quick scroll down my Presentations page might also reveal how the topics are quite different. Professional speakers can repeat or rehash their talks and get very well paid for them. I often come up with fresh content.

I do rehash some content and ideas to suit context and audience, and I also like reusing Google Presentation templates that are visually pleasing.

My modus operandi: Get as much background information as possible through meetings, interviews, and document analysis; visit the venue to get a feel of the room; conduct a pre-event poll; provide a backchannel and other opportunities for the audience to become participants; provide pitstops or time to reflect on takeaways.

Through all this I stir my stew, blend and extract flavours, remove what does not look right, and reduce content as much as possible. The last part of the reduction is taking out spoon-feeding elements and adding elements that require participants to feed themselves. That is something I cannot write down in a recipe.

 
I am stubborn about certain things. One is insisting that people change course should I sense trouble.

I do not see why some people would rather react to change instead of prepare for it. Perhaps they cannot see it coming.

Like a broken bridge, all the signs are there. But they coast along without a care thinking they can deal with it later.

By the time they do this, it is too late because their momentum carries them off the bridge. If they manage to stop, they cease on their journey forward.

No, I would rather read the signs and change my path if necessary.


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