As a “seasoned” (old) professional I have been attending learning and development conferences for longer than I dare to remember. Of course the longer one has been in a profession, the harder it is to find the “new” ideas or nuggets.
However this year I have learnt a couple of things, and these should be essential learning for all in our profession, or indeed anyone that gives a presentation.
Learning point#1 Deliver your promise.
It’s great having a catchy or sexy title to attract attention, but the content must meet expectations. On day 1 of the #cipdldshow I attended 3 conference sessions, and whilst there was nothing wrong with the content, 2 of the three failed to deliver the title and goal of the session. This is the basic of all communication rules, and indeed the company Ronseal have made a brand out of it.
It IMHO is totally inexcusable for any communicator to fail to deliver this the most basic of commitments
Learning point #2 manage expectations
Not everyone in the profession is the same, we all have different needs.
One session I went to claimed to look at how people could collaborate through MOOCS, now for the purposes of this article it does not matter what a MOOC is, but what the presenters did was a great intro to MOOCS, but nothing on collaboration beyond the collaborative history. This was great for people new to MOOCS, but not for those looking to use MOOCS for collaboration, so Rule#1 above was broken, but its more than that.
It seems that marketing has overtaken substance, and we need to accept that words like “basic” or “introduction” are valid too. If the session had been listed as an intro to moocs it would have been great.
Last year a client asked me to run a session called “project leadership masterclass” but the content they wanted me to cover was an intro to the subject.
why as a profession cannot we be more mature and list things for what they are.. intro or advanced? why do we shy away from this concept? both as suppliers and consumers of these sessions
call to action.. if you are a learner and are new.. look for a basic level session, if you are presenter, be realistic and copy Ronseal
What do you think, has marketing spin taken the reality away from learning?