Planning a Programme…

This year I decided not to put in a proposal to speak at the NLP Conference, instead I wanted to give something back. This is the first year the ANLP have hosted this major International Conference and I wanted to help make it a success so I volunteered my services.

One of the most interesting things I have been involved in so far has been as part of the sub-committee selecting speakers for the programme. I was really impressed with the range of presentation topics and particularly all the new speakers coming forward.

There have however been some challenges. Firstly, many people insisted that they could only offer 180 minute sessions. I was disappointed with the lack of flexibility shown by some. In putting on a conference shorter slots make so much more sense. It allows attendees to experience a range of presenters and not be limited to just a few. For this reason we took a decision to limit the number of 180 slots.

The second challenge was with regard to the request for short videos to see the speakers in action. This was vital as we have a responsibility to ensure that we are offering speakers of great quality. We tried to be as flexible as possible ourselves by searching the internet for examples before requesting clips. Many trainers, particularly the experienced ones were happy to send us links to sessions however one or two people seemed reluctant to do so.

The committee created a set of criteria for acceptance of speakers and so unfortunately we sometimes had to say “no” to some promising speakers who were unwilling to be flexible or provide videos. It was a real eye opener to me to discover just how much work, effort and complexity there is in putting on a conference of this size.

So for those of you interested in presenting next year, and let us all remember speaking at a major conference is good for your profile, here are some tips:

  1. First be flexible, after all isn’t this an underlying quality we look for in NLP?
  2. Be prepared to deliver a session of varying lengths, tailor your material accordingly.
  3. Make sure you record yourself regularly presenting workshops etc. That way you will be able to find a suitable video to send to the conference committee.
  4. Choose topics that are a bit different and that will add new content.
  5. Remember, from now on the Conference is targeting NLP students, practitioners and trainers. While people new to NLP will be welcome our aim is to provide a Conference that is enriching to the field.
  6. Be kind to the committee, most will be volunteers doing their best and those employed by the ANLP are providing a service that we as a community need. After all without the ANLP this conference would not be happening.

by Melody Cheal, Msc Applied Positive Psychology & NLP Master Trainer

3 comments on “Planning a Programme…”
  1. Great article Melody! Thanks for volunteering.

  2. Thanks Melody – a great start for the Conference.

    Just one point about the short videos, as a practicing NLP Psychotherapist I don’t do a lot of training and so I can’t easily produce these for you. So it’s not a reluctance more simply that they don’t exist. I hope that the Committee will be as flexible as the hopeful presenters.

    I’ve not been to an NLP conference for some time and I hope that we will be more outward looking as I read articles (and see TV programmes like the recent Channel 4 News) where NLP is misrepresented, which we need to counter to ensure that NLP grows and develops.

    Thanks to all the Committee members, having worked on similar conferences I recognise the stress and strains that are involved in creating the best possible space.

    • Hi Martin

      Firstly thank you so much for taking the time to comment on the blog. I very much appreciate your comments.

      You and I have both been in the personal development world long enough to have experienced amazingly knowledgeable people presenting who unfortunately lack the skills to present. We do have lots of new people presenting and so we needed to find a way to sort through all the applications.

      The positive intention behind asking for the videos is to enable us to make sure the conference can provide the best show casing for both the presenters and the delegates. We had to set up a criteria to make it fair to everyone. The first was to see presentation skills of presenters the panel had not experienced before. The second will be a marketing video (up to 90 seconds) and will be used to promote both the presenter and the Conference.

      We are open to people just doing a short piece to camera without an audience for both and in fact for the second video that is the guideline. This does give the committee enough to evaluate. The great news from my perspective is the way the ANLP is handling the enormous number of applications. We have too many proposals for the available slots! The ANLP has plans to offer a range of other ways for people to share their ideas.

      I appreciate with your experience it might seem strange that you were asked for a video however we had to apply the criteria evenly to all.

      Thanks for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the conference

      Warm anchors


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