Once a year – try ANNUAL, instead of monthly updates

Every month we come to our Forum meetings, prepared to give an update on what’s happened since the last meeting and what’s coming up.  We strive to share what’s meaningful and significant, the really tough dilemmas or unresolved issues we may not be able to share outside of Forum.

Once a year, consider an annual, instead of a monthly framing of these updates.  In place of the standard format, ask everyone to reflect upon the “best and worst” of the last year, and the “dread and anticipate” of the upcoming 12 months. Then take extra parking lot time and try to think about issues from the yearly perspective. This may help you step back and look at important but not urgent issues in a new way.

As another aspect of this annual update, ask everyone to touch on learning and updates from the presentations they had done during the last 12 months. 

One forum shared with me that, after taking this new approach, they voted to make this an annual practice!

Bob Halperin

The value of advance, in-person presentation coaching

When a presenter has been identified in advance, there’s no reason to delay the coaching of the presenter until the night before or the day of the Forum meeting.

A Forum member recently wrote to me and summed up nicely the advantages of advance, in-person coaching:

I become nervous when the coaching is happening for the first time right before the meeting.  One to two weeks before is ideal because, both when I’ve coached and been coached, it has given me as the presenter (and the person I coached) a chance to let the presentation “steep” and therefore be stronger. It also allowed me to come up with other ideas before the presentation as well. And based on my experiences both ways, face-to-face was definitely more satisfying than over the phone. Being able to see the other person as they wrestle with the topic allows the dimension of body language to enlighten, and in my experience makes for a less rushed experience than a phone call.

Bob Halperin