This morning I was scheduled to do a pair of 30-minute breakout sessions as part of a multi-faceted community event hosted by the City of Phoenix at a local school. The material I was going to present had been modified from an hourlong presentation in order to fit the time window, and had been altered so it would be appropriate for both parents and kids to see together (we normally speak to those groups separately for very strategic reasons).
The attendees were to begin the day with breakfast at 8 a.m. while hearing a keynote from a physician and a local city council member, and then had the option of heading to various different breakout sessions or activities.
At 8:40, the organizer of the event approached me in my breakout room, where I was all set up and ready to go. “The doctor and the councilman didn’t show up. Would you be willing to speak to the entire group right now?” he asked. “Let’s do it,” I replied.
By the time we had my laptop and other gear transferred over into the main/keynote room, it was 8:45, and I had gone from having a pair of 30-minute breakouts to having one 15-minute session with the group in its entirety. Not only had the timing and setting changed, I was now the obstacle between the families and getting outside to go take advantage things like free ice cream, a bounce house, and giveaways.
The age range was something like two years old to 80 years old. I put as much energy and interaction into those 15 minutes as I could, I and I prioritized what I thought would be the most important take-aways for the group. When I was done, a number of parents in attendance came up and told me how excellent the session was, and I couldn’t help thinking, “You should see the other 45 minutes.” (Though of course I didn’t say anything but “Thank you.”) I had some very good conversations with a number of parents and was able to answer their questions and give them specific strategies to implement with their kids.
It looks like a couple organizations who were also in attendance now want us to come speak to their employees and/or at one of their events.
Not bad for 15 minutes.