Friday, 12 July 2013
Less is More When Speaking in London
I received great news last week. My proposal to speak at the Association of Change Management Professionals' Europe Conference was accepted!
This achievement is important in many ways. It's my first speaking engagement outside North America, which begins the global phase of marketing Change with Confidence. Also, it is a premiere conference with excellent speakers, run by a distinguished organization−it's a five star event. Another reason is that it is being held in London where I was based at Cadbury for three years. I will have the opportunity to visit old friends. It's going to be a great week.
The speaker review process was thorough and included a written proposal, a submission of additional information and a Skype-recorded presentation on my content, audience target and level of interaction.
I was intrigued by the focus on attendees' participation. Many years ago, I realized that when leading training sessions, the less I spoke the more people learned. Their engagement and exploration of concepts is where most of the learning takes place.
The approach I am taking for my session is new to me. After sharing my key insights on change, I will "crowd source" the direction the conversation will take: the participants will determine what real-life scenario we will discuss, what questions we will answer and what approach we will take to do so? Self-directed learning to the power of 75-150 people.
My preparation will take longer than usual because I need to be ready for all combinations of options. I will also need to design a way for people to interact with each other as they progress through the choices.
This will be the most adventurous presentation I have given on change: spontaneous, dynamic and perhaps even chaotic. Like dealing with change, the destination is clear but how you really will get there is not. As long as I talk less than the participants, we will learn a lot.