Getting back to some of the many presentations I saw at conferences in the past month. I am still digesting all the stuff I’ve seen, and I selfishly feel that I have benefited more than I’ve helped others this month. But in rational moments, I realize that this helps others in the long run. Very much akin to marriage or parenting — a person who takes care of themselves (let’s not consider the selfish extreme to this line of thinking) can be a better spouse and parent.One of the day-long seminars I attended was a fascinating day composed almost entirely of lecture. In fact, other than having a few moments to read some materials and possibly chatter with the person beside me, it was mostly just a ‘sit back and listen’ presentation. Not the kind of stuff that legends are made of. But this person was just about a legend, and I found the time flew by and I hung on almost every word.The problem was the most boring part of the seminar — about 45 minutes worth — was immediately following lunch. I looked around about 20 minutes after the return from lunch and there were literally hundreds of folks (very large audience) either asleep or soon to be. The sad thing is that just moving that content to a better time and using some of the more fascinating content to the post-lunch slot would have made the entire day seem wonderful, rather than just 5 of the 6 hours. It’s a simple thing, but understanding the competition for attention and planning accordingly is paramount to full engagement.No one likes to speak as the tryptophans kick in. But sometimes it’s unavoidable, and it’s STILL the speaker’s responsibility to engage and keep the audience’s attention.
Have sometime lively for any time slot just after a meal.