At this round of presentations (I do go on about them a bit yet they take up a lot of my thinking time and so that is my excuse) we decided to split the Spectrum event into two. Prior to this we had delivered the presentation in the main office, on the shop floor as you may say. This had the advantage that everyone was able to get involved as they didn’t have to leave their desk. The presentation felt much more like a briefing, a sort of ‘gather round and listen to what I have to say’ rather than a more formal event.
You see politicians doing this all the time. Ministers love to make announcements from within factories. They roll their sleeves up and the workers gather round. They appear to hang on their every word. I think it makes the politicians feel that their message will have added street credibility or something like that. They are down with the people. I’m not sure it works but what would I know?
The disadvantage though is that no one has to leave their desk. The presentation is nothing special as the audience just had to lift their heads up. Those at the back find it difficult to hear the speakers or see the screen and the phones would ring from time to time making everyone feel guilty about whether or not they should answer them.
Presenting in where people work is fine for a quick announcement but doesn’t work for something where the message needs to percolate. Spectrum was the only place where we still did it this way and so I decided to change.
The way we deliver the presentations has changed considerably over the years. I have tried to mix them up a bit, to keep them fresh and interesting. I focussed primarily at the start on making them informative but of late have also tried to make them entertaining on the basis that if people are interested in coming then they will get more from them. I try to mix the serious and important with humour and anecdotes. Lee certainly added the humour this time. He claims he is a frustrated entertainer. My stuff was a bit serious and he definitely got more laughs than I did. He has set the bar very high for whoever is next.
So we took one of the meeting rooms upstairs in Spectrum. It meant that everyone had to make the effort to get away from where they were downstairs. The room was small as I was under the impression that we didn’t have many people still working there but the first session was packed. There was standing room only. The second session was busy as well yet not quite so full.
There was a good vibe form each of the sessions. We had a good interaction with the audience and questions were asked at each session. This doesn’t always happen when there are larger groups which can be another advantage of keeping things tight.
Ok, so it’s a little more effort for the presenters. We’ve gone from seven sessions to eight but they felt much better this time for all parties. Part of the presentation was about how we need to consider change as a constant. I think we just demonstrated that.