How a conference organiser can strip a facilitator’s credibility with a single gesture

Most speakers (and I studied this during a recent lengthy conference, so it’s proper research) have trouble sticking to time. They tend to run over if allowed. Which may be mildly irritating or perhaps no bother at all either for the speaker or the audience. But in this case I was the facilitator, tasked in advance by the organisers to keep speakers to time.

As I gently signalled from the wings to the speaker that they had two minutes left, I felt the organiser grab my arm and whisper to me to let them continue. OK – that’s the organiser’s prerogative, and I have no problem with people making new decisions on the fly. Just that in this case, there was no good reason for doing so.

This presenter was conspicuously failing to hold the audience. I’d love to let a good speaker continue. Good speakers are rare enough. But this was a poor speaker, who already knew the time limit, which we were kindly stretching by a couple of minute anyway on the grounds that they’ve travelled a long way to be there. Did I mention that there were more speakers waiting their turn?

And that resulted in a facilitator now visibly stripped of any credibility and a rapidly-diminishing sense of purpose. Luckily, we had some good sessions later to restore my sense of mission and replenish our relationships. What are your thoughts?

Submit a Comment


 

Contact Us

Telephone: +44 (0) 1727 843820

Mobile: +44 (0) 7973 953 586

Email: info@impro.org.uk

 

 

Upcoming Events

Advanced Facilitation Masterclass

When
22 - 23 February 2018

Where
Central London - exact location to be confirmed.

Eventbrite - Advanced Facilitation Masterclass Feb 2018

Basket

Get free tips on how to develop confidence and creativity straight into your inbox.

Paul Jackson Associates Limited. A registered company in England and Wales.
Company Number 09564618. VAT Number GB 213 37981.
Registered Address 10 Greville House, Lower Road, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex, HA2 0HB.
Postal Address 34a Clarence Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 4NG
Telephone 01727 843 820
Mobile 07973 953 586

© 2009-2016 Paul Jackson Associates / The Improvisation Academy – All Rights Reserved

DJI Systems - web design | marketing | admin systems | consulting - [ anglesey / wales ]