Mind Meld: Preparing for the SGR Conference

This is the second in a multi-part series about preparing to present at a professional conference. This series will look at the steps that go into session planning, and include drafts of our presentation in advance of our January 30, 2014 presentation at the SGR organizational development conference in Dallas, Texas.

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As Kent, Ben and Kirsten continue to prepare for our presentation at the SGR Organizational Development Conference at the end of January, we embarked on a “mind meld” to combine our individual ideas into a presentation format that might work for all of us.

We each approached our initial conversation differently:

Kent had a rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness idea share that showed he had thought about the different ways to engage the audience.  His ideas included ways to get the audicent to immediately participate in the session, and to get their feedback during the session.

Ben shared some ideas about presentations he had attended that were not effective, which gave us some ideas of areas and topics to avoid.  He indicated that presentations that stereotype or “broad brush” generational differences are insulting and rarely effective.

Kirsten shared some bigger-picture theoretical concepts and articles about organizing work and sharing work that might be a jumping-off point for the presentation on a practical level.

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The three varied approaches to the first draft of our presentation resulted in a lively discussion. We ultimately decided to formulate the presentation around four questions related to developing emerging leaders in local government organizations.  We’ll ask those four questions of ELGL members using an online survey, and then also ask those questions in our presentation to spur audience participation.  Stay tuned for the online survey to participate in our presentation development!

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Also this week, we finalized the description of our presentation.  Notably, we give full props to Ron Holifield for recognizing that this is a topic area worthy of a conference session, and for approaching ELGL about it.  We have yet to see this topic at a national or regional local government conference, despite a lot of lip service being paid to “next gen” efforts:

Developing Emerging Leaders

The impending Baby Boomer retirement wave makes this the perfect time for you to cultivate and develop the next generation of leaders for your organization. Ben, Kent, and Kirsten will share some practical examples of how you can embrace the unique talents of your Gen X/Millennial workforce to ensure your organization can withstand the “sliver tsunami.” Please visit ELGL.org to learn more about the Emerging Local Government Leaders network, a grassroots local government organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of local government managers.

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Also this week, we finalized the plans for the Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:00 free networking event that ELGL will co-host with SGR to introduce ELGL to the conference participants.  We’re excited to share the benefits of ELGL with a broader, national audience, and we look forward to meeting more friends in Texas:

Networking: More Fun Than the Oregon Trail

Do you remember the good ol’ days of playing Oregon Trail in your social studies class?  Where you could hunt for deer or die from dysentery?  ELGL is based in Oregon, so we’re bringing your favorite Apple IIE computer game to life in a networking format that will give you a chance to learn more about ELGL and even score a discounted membership.  Please attend this free event to join ELGL for $25 (full price is $30).

Here’s the flier for the ELGL – SGR Networking Event.

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