The comments that I received after my presentation this week were from people who expressed how pleased they were to have received so much value in such a short amount of time.
I don’t think that we should ever forget that our jobs are about producing results, and the faster those results can be produced, the sooner our customers can benefit.
In the case of my presentation at Tuesday’s conference, the event was running late. I opened by inviting the audience to give me feedback, stating that in my role helping organizations survive and thrive versus heading for extinction, that value is about the customer, not about the service provider (in this case me). I promised to make my points in a compelling way, and then get them on their way so that they didn’t miss lunch. For this I received a round of applause before I began.
In the hallways later that day, and even at other venues in the days that followed, I ran into people who wanted to let me know how much they appreciated what they had learned. None of those in attendance have approached me to tell me that I didn’t have enough slides or that the session was too short. Instead they expressed to me how much value they received.
If the number of PowerPoint slides is your measure of value, search my blog for my discussion of producing 500 page reports.
During my presentation nobody in attendance seemed to feel shortchanged when I gave them my full attention and talked with the group instead of pointing to slides. Nor did they seem to feel the need to be overwhelmed by too many points at once. Instead they felt they had received a powerful message that made them look differently at the way that they work, and were left with some time to digest it.
Maybe some didn’t get it and have not spoken up yet, but for the ones who did, they felt they received great value, and that’s the point. Value is in they eyes of the consumer, not the service provider. Nobody needs you or me, they need the results that we produce, and if we are good, we can produce those results with relative speed and ease, as long as we have a clear focus on what is of value.
It is easy to take a simple topic and turn it into somthing complex. Taking a complex topic and simplifying it is much more difficult, but that is what most attendees find value in when an expert presents.