How to enjoy any conference talk

There was a time when I would be in and out of an art gallery in 30 minutes, bored.  I looked, but did not engage.  Then at a Picasso Exhibition, i found paintings that I really liked, but also many that turned me off completely.  After viewing all, I went back and studied these two groups and asked Why?  Now galleries are no longer boring.  I apply the same process to conference talks. I note all the new ideas, the new linkages that really please me and write them down so that I can think more about them later, and I also note those statements that drive me nuts, and I think about these as well.  No prizes for guessing what category the ‘heretical questions’ in the last post  fell into.

But the IPWEA Congress this week, ‘Communities For the Future, Infrastructure for the Next Generation’   was far richer in yielding good new ideas, thoughtful linkages, and new ways of expressing accepted ideas so that they come to life and are taken out of the realm of platitudes.  These deserve a far wider coverage, and so, with the support of our podcast partner, the IPWEA, we will be bringing you these ideas, and many others, in our forthcoming podcast series.   Watch for it!

Or better still, join the Talking Infrastructure Community (click here) (its free!) and you will be the first to know when we launch.

A closing note:  At an after lunch session in Parliament House many years ago, the talk was so boring I found it a hard job to keep my eyes open.  Yet my colleague was riveted!  He was listening intently and taking notes.  At the end I sighed and said ‘That was a really boring talk’.  ‘Absolutely’, he agreed.   Surprised I responded ‘But you were riveted, paying great attention, taking notes, how come?’

His reply? ‘To make so boring a presentation, there must be many things he was doing wrong.  I just wanted to figure out what they all were!’  Be engaged!

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