Tag Archives: speaking

Sometimes I Just Forget To Look

Burnt Crumpets

Tuesday morning started in a less than ideal fashion. I got up early to attend a breakfast meeting in London and thought I’d make some fruit smoothie to share at the meeting. I was in a rush, long story short, I completely ruined our smoothie maker (more haste less speed). Next I burned the breakfast crumpets (pay attention 007) before checking online to find out that trains into London were delayed and cancelled because of local electrical supply problems. I was frustrated (putting it politely).

Once I knew the London thing wasn’t going to happen I offered to take Keira to the train station for her journey to school (heading away from London). The delays there were just as bad, so I gave Keira a lift to school.

On the way to school we talked, sang and laughed, and agreed that the silver lining of these minor morning misfortunes, was some excellent time together. The smile Keira gave me as we parted stayed with me all day, a day which turned out to be great fun and very productive.

You choose your own attitude, and I often forget to look in the right place before choosing.

Thanks Keira.

Wednesday evening after dinner we each opened a fortune cookie – they were leftover from a recent trip to the Chinatown district in Manchester.

Carole’s read: Each failure takes you closer to success
Keira’s read: You have an important new business development shaping up
Mine read: Bless others with kindness and you shall be blessed.

Later that night, just before I went to bed I received an email from The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) rejecting my proposal to speak at their 2015 conference in Las Vegas:

Dear Doug:

Thank you for submitting a presentation proposal for the SHRM® Annual Conference & Exposition being held June 28 – July 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Each proposal was given careful and deliberate consideration. We strive to offer a balanced program of educational sessions at the conference and select the proposals that best fit the overall programming framework of the conference. Please understand that we receive many proposals with several on the same topic. Exceptional proposals are turned away each year for the simple reason that we have limited speaking slots. Your proposal for The Art of Collaboration was not selected this year. However, your interest in offering your skills, background and knowledge is greatly appreciated.

Once again, thank you for your submission.

Letty Kluttz, SPHR, MBA
Director, Conference Programming and Development

Truthfully – although I was a little disappointed to get the Dear John – on reflection I was more frustrated about the crumpets than I was about getting this note. Maybe Tuesday morning’s breakfast hunger was stronger than the hunger to speak at SHRM National? I don’t know – but I do know that this Thursday morning brings another day full of failure and success, business development and blessing. Today I’m looking in the right place – I hope you are too. Have a great day.

Speaker Tips – That’s How it’s Done!

I’ve just been to a session on Simplifying L&D with Efficient Use of Technology at the CIPD HR Development Conference. This post is much more about what I learned from watching Niall Gavin give his talk, rather than the talk itself.

Tell Your Story

Niall told us stories. Stories about how he got here. Stories about customer experiences. Stories about people he works with. He also used photos of real people doing real work to help illustrate the tale.

Be Funny

Niall used a little humour in his talk. It wasn’t a barrel of laughs, the talk wasn’t supposed to be – and it was a lot better for the inclusion of some fun. I found out only after his talk that Niall blogged about humour this very morning, check it.

Be Real

Niall fronted up and told us what didn’t work. It’s easy to pretend you’ve got it all right, it’s all working perfectly, but some of the best learning seem to come from understanding others mistakes. Sure it takes a little boldness to admit those mistakes, and it’s worth it.

Ask the Audience

Niall is the first speaker I’ve seen at the conference so far who has engaged his audience through asking us questions, instead of making assumptions about what we do and do not know. Niall also engaged us in advance via Twitter – inviting people to tell him what challenges they are facing, and how could he tweak his talk to suit us best?

There you have it. Four things I observed Niall do well. Next time you prepare for a talk – have a think about how you would like to be remembered, and maybe put some of what Niall shared into action.