We all have tools of the trade. Doctors have stethoscopes, mechanics have spanners and teachers have blackboards. They have, of course many more tools. Perhaps you’re already thinking of your own profession and the tools you use.
Are you a chef? Then some of your tools may be a set of good knives. If you’re a blogger you need a computer. If you’re a photographer you have a camera. Most people, irrespective of employment status have computers, books, phones, and much more.
As a trainer, facilitator and coach I have marker pens. Nice marker pens. Neuland ones to be exact. They have amazing colours, they don’t bleed through the paper and I can refill them. I also have wax crayons. Yes, you heard right. This profession is the only I know where I can take my wax crayons to work. And post it notes. And Lego. And dice. And board games.
It matters not what you do. We all use things to do what we do. We all have our own tools of the trade.
So says Winston Churchill who was himself a superb orator. His wit and turn of phrase make him, in my opinion, one of the great orators of the 20th century. He was a product of his time, a leader the world needed in those difficult years.
As many of you might remember I am a Toastmaster and one of the things I do to pay the bills is train people. Who am I kidding…I love training. I have loved it less and began to love it more when I found my voice.
One of the things I do in the Agile community in South Africa is giving back to it, by helping develop conference speakers. Up until now I’ve helped people with their conference presentations, from the slides to the story to the delivery. I’m branching out this year by starting a couple of steps before speakers get selected for conferences – at the call for papers stage – helping budding speakers craft their proposal.
I go to many conferences, and I vicariously live through many others via live tweeting. The names on the programme lines ups tend to be the same year after year and quite frankly, I’m feeling bored. I want to learn new things from new people.
There are so many wonderful members of this vibrant community that have so much to share, and perhaps they think they are not experts…but I don’t want to learn from experts all the time. I want to learn from people who are in the trenches, day to day.
So I’ve decided to do something about this. On Saturday I’m hosting a workshop to help prospective speakers refine their ideas, and help them with their proposals for the regional Scrum Gathering South Africa 2018 which this year is going to be held in Durban. In this way, I hope to play a part in helping to grow the Agile community of speakers and the Agile community in general.
The half-day workshop programme will flow in the following manner:
- 8:00 – 9:00: Refreshments
- 9:00 – 9:15: Connections
- 9:15 – 10:00: Talk: What makes a great conference submission
- 10:00 – 10.30: Go through the proposal submission format
- 10:30 – 10:50: Tea, muffins, coffee, and fruit
- 10:50 – 11:30: Group ideation
- 11:30 – 13:00: Draft proposal preparation, and pitching to the panel
Conference talks of all types need to be interesting and engage the audience. It starts with a tenuous idea and ends with an audience that has seen with their ears. And a satisfied and courageous presenter that has cared enough and taken the time to share her or his knowledge and experience.
I’m away from home for a couple of days – today brings me a new team to train at one of my favourite clients. Last night’s sunset at 37,000 feet was beautiful…I caught the remnants of a day dedicated to Mom’s. Hope you had a great Mother’s Day!