CaptureThis is the introduction to a conference keynote speaker! At the recent American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Great Ideas Conference, board chair, Susan Neeley, introduced Alan Gregeman (left). His session’s title was so interesting… The Necessity of Strangers: New Insights for Unlocking the Brilliance in Yourself, Your Organization, and the World Around You.

I had the great experience of both presenting and just enjoying the conference as an attendee.

This presenter introduction was a great reminder of how we as trainers and educators, should thinking about preparing trainees for their learning experience. Hearing the table setter metaphor at the beginning really made me focus on the ways that other presenters started their 60-minute sessions.

A few practices I witnessed:

  • Sharing that 50% of the workshop would be instructor-led and 50% would be audience participation;
  • Jumping right in and not telling the participants what to expect at all;
  • Promising a specific number of ideas that would be gained and then small group conversation;
  • Empowering people with role-playing to learn a few coaching tactics – and asking people to be courageous and make mistakes in the safe zone of the learning environment; and
  • Providing a 5-minute snapshot of the entire session to make sure people knew the flow and what to expect throughout the program.

Those tactics really helped people engage… or vote with their feet and attend another program if it didn’t meet their learning styles or expectations.

All in all, the Great Ideas Conference is a good investment in networking and professional development. Thanks to the entire ASAE Team for their hard work to provide a terrific, rejuvenating conference in Orlando!

On a more personal note, the conference body recognized and thanked the ASAE Chief Learning Officer, Anne Blouin, for her years of executive leadership. It’s bittersweet to have a friend leave the association and the industry but it’s so wonderful to see her follow her passion of world-wide travel in her retirement! Kampai (cheers in Japanese) my friend!