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Make it worth the journey

I spend a lot of time thinking about effective communication in exploring the future, and have posted a number of entries on it (see: communication). Every time I give a talk or lead a workshop, I try to up my game and reflect on how it went, what worked, and what didn’t. I consider the attendees time precious and I don’t want to waste it. The event is for them, not me, and I tell them that.

With this in mind, I really liked Seth Godin’s riff on effective communication on his blog. Godin is, to oversimplify, an author and marketing guru.

Initially considering presentations, he insists we have to get way beyond an information role. His view is that an attendee has to get  more from a talk than she would just by reading the transcript. Thus his title, “I flew here for this?”

Godin says that “a conference organizer owes the attendees: surprise, juxtaposition, drama, engagement, souvenirs and just possibly, excitement.” In presenting on the future, we need to draw on those things to get through to people and to make it worth their time to pay attention to us. In my experience, that means our role is to offer insights and an experience that gets people thinking and gives them something new to think about. We don’t bring everything that’s needed for a rich new conversation on the future, but we bring the vital ingredients, and we catalyze new thinking.

Ultimately, Godin reaches the conclusion:

“The new rule seems to be that if you’re going to spend the time and the money to see someone face to face, be in their face. Interact or stay home!” 

Well put!

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