Lessons learnt while project managing a keynote presentation

26 Oct

It’s been a few weeks since I have blogged, but I’ve been busy project managing the delivery of a keynote presentation on virtual meetings.

By project managing, I mean organizing and re-organizing, arranging and re-arranging, scheduling and re-scheduling everything and anything from meetings, people, and places. Ultimately the process has been one of collaboration with a diverse collective of people (internal/external co-workers/clients) to achieve a single goal – the delivery of an 1 1/2 hour presentation on virtual meetings.

So what have I learnt from the experience? First, when working with a diverse group you need structure. Whether that is organizing a weekly catch-up meeting or simply sending out an agenda on the Wednesday before the meeting – structure means everyone gets the information at the same time and at the same place. Second, you need transparency. With a diverse group the process can become muddy – people going off in different directions, developing new ideas, having separate conversations. But creating a transparent process can help eliminate some of the confusion. For me, that transparent process meant storing all the different elements of the presentation in one powerpoint slide deck. All the work that people did on their own ended up in the slide deck (which was versioned). That way everyone on the project could see how the presentation was developing, from the areas that kept changing to the areas that needed work.

So, how did the presentation go? Well, it’s next week and I’m looking forward to it. By project managing the development of the presentation I’ve become very close to the content, but as the walk-throughs and dry-runs have proved, the presentation should engage the audience, generate some laughs, make people think, and demonstrate how a diverse group can collaboratively deliver a single goal.

One Response to “Lessons learnt while project managing a keynote presentation”

  1. PM Hut October 27, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Hi Matthew,

    I was thinking maybe you can formulate your little post into a more elaborate one explaining each stage of the process of managing your presentation, starting with:

    – Initiating the project
    – Planning for the presentation
    – Actually doing the presentation
    – Finally wrapping up the whole thing

    If you do this I believe it will be a very interesting post.

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