My proposal for a seminar was accepted at the prestigious annual conference for the Financial Management Association (FMA) of New York State. This organization is comprised of the “movers and shakers” of the companies and organizations that provide health support and life care for hundreds of thousands of patients and clients in nursing homes, therapy centers, rehabilitation facilities, and residential care systems. The title of the seminar was, “Why Do People Act That Way?” based on the soon-to-be-released book of the same title. All the other seminar offerings were about financial systems, managed care, upcoming legislation, grant-writing and other business-focused information. Mine was the only one of its kind, and one key planning committee member told me most people there had no pre-existing idea what my seminar would be about, because nothing like it had never been offered previously.
Forty-two of the approximately 300 conferees took a chance and attended my seminar. I had only 75 minutes total for the entire presentation and Q&A response time. I warmed up to the assembled executive-level attendees with some background stories and one light joke. The immense amount of material of the PEMB Construct was reduced to a quick overview of Perceptions (P), Emotions (E), Motivations (M) and Behaviors (B). I focused primarily on the first two complexes, the Ten Senses of Perception and the Five Basic Emotional Systems, and touched only lightly on the last two complexes.
I engaged the group in two get-up-and-move-around activities that got them forming small groups of five to evaluate one part of the training in the Perceptions area, and to analyze as a whole group a different aspect in the Emotions area. Everyone participated willingly. The main material took 62 minutes of the 75 available; I had planned the presentation to take 60. It was right on target. I have four tools that I also teach, all of which are available on the website for the attendees to download later, including “The Question Sequence,” “The Power Triangle,” “The Ladder Principle,” and “The Capacities Scale.” I invited them to choose any one of the four for a three minute overview, and they selected “The Question Sequence.” It actually took four minutes, which left us 9 minutes for questions. Several perceptive questions were asked about the material, and we excused the group for their lunch break one minute early. (agreed to drop from here on)
I got a chance to read fourteen written evaluations, all done anonymously, about my seminar. All of the questions pertaining to me as a trainer or the material presented were scored at the top rating by all fourteen. Eight had chosen a middle “Satisfactory” rating for “Length of the Seminar Time.” Seven of those 8 added a comment, such as “Needed MUCH more time!” or “I could listen to him all day!” About a dozen extra comments were made in the “Additional Responses” area, all very positive.
I hoped at least 10% of the participants would go the website and download at least one tool or sign up for the blog or contact list. At this writing, the conference is just concluded, and we’ll have information on how many hits we got soon.
I also hoped to have at least two specific conversations about future speaking engagements with companies within the association. I had six such conversations, between my seminar conclusion and when I headed home in mid-afternoon.
I learned a lot about the fine details of this version of the seminar, especially when it needs to be compressed into a one-hour-plus time frame, rather than 2 hours or a half-day format. This opportunity was designed as a gateway event, possibly leading to increased website interaction and additional training events which might utilize me as a speaker. Every one of my hopes were exceeded, and it was a very positive event for everyone.