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POC 2013 Conference Perspective – from the stage and the seat

We’ve recently heard from a number of bloggers who attended the MARCPO Conference this past October. Now we’ll move to my home turf to read about the recent Professional Organizers in Canada Conference in Toronto, beginning with some public speaking tips and other valuable information from Deanne Kelleher.

conference room

Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I recently attended and presented at the Professional Organizers in Canada 2013 Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario. It was a wonderful gathering of like-minded individuals who are proud of what they do and who were rearing to go as each speaker took the stage.

When a business owner decides to attend a conference they are taking time off work and time away from the business and although the purpose of attending is to network and expand their business acumen, it’s still time that isn’t revenue generating (yet) and is money expended.

As a presenter it’s imperative for participants to leave my session with practical information that will help them, personally and professionally and provide them with tools that they can apply immediately.  I believe the key requirements to sharing ideas and information with participants, who are knowledgeable and experienced, as all adult learners are, includes:

  • strategic planning after defining the learning outcomes
  • knowledge of learning styles
  • in-depth understanding of personality styles
  • empathy and good humor

If you think about it from the adult learner’s perspective – a facilitator is rarely sharing new information, instead they are sharing information that isn’t presently active in the participant’s life. As a presenter, if I can share information and tools in a way that may land, resonate and inspire an adult to think and act differently – then I have succeeded. At the very least, it’s vital to be engaging, authentic and know your stuff!

I’m pleased that I went back to school, as an adult, to study how-to teach adults. My passion certainly shone through as I graduated with a High Honours Certification in Teacher/Trainer of Adults. The methodologies learned amongst the other information in the program empowered me with the knowledge and confidence to create, develop and deliver information in a way that is valuable and highly experiential for all learning styles. Blending that training with my passion for what I do and experience in delivering multiple programs I am able to share and collaboratively discuss the challenges that so many adults experience in their business and personal lives.

I was pleased to see that many of the other presenters at Conference 2013 endeavoured to deliver information in a similar manner.

I must say, there are also benefits of speaking at conference; to share business insights that participants might not otherwise have an opportunity to explore, to gain exposure to those who may want to procure my services and the third is pride in knowing that our Association endeavours to support its members with business tools to help them grow their business.

As I attended each session I had my note book ready (yes, I still write notes by hand) to capture key points that resonated and to write down my next steps. I found the blend of technology and motivation in the sessions I attended to be a nice mix for my left and right brain.

I read a great article recently by 99U that provides 5 tips for making the most of a conference. In a nut shell, Scott Belsky says; review your notes after a conference and input your tasks, distill every talk down to one take away (love that one!!), take advantage of ‘chance’ meetings, plan private gatherings and process business cards afterwards.

Our POC 2013 Conference demonstrated to me that we are a group of people who care about our Association, the members and our clients. As I peer into the future I’m confident that we will continue to grow stronger, as professionals and as an Association because of the individuals that comprise this superb community.

Deanne KelleherDeanne Kelleher, the pragmatic and energetic leader behind kAos Group’s vision and patented Core Four System successfully and passionately helps clients identify and implement needed changes to enhance organization in their professional and personal lives.

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