Saturday, February 2, 2008

I'm NOT Sorry

As I listen to "Future Trends in Training and Development" hosted by ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) and, I am instantly disengaged when the second speaker, the Chairman and CEO of McLagan International, starts her training segment by apologizing. She doesn't say, "I'm sorry" but says she'll get through her material as fast as possible so we can get to something else. I have no idea what she said next.

Stating the goal of "getting through the material fast..." is essentially apologizing for at least two things: your content and the length of the training. First and foremost, as the expert given X amount of time to deliver training, don't apologize for content nor length (short or long!) up front -- if even at all! If a speaker is sorry out of the gate, he certainly isn't grabbing my attention, but pushing it away. Secondly, as someone purportedly qualified to speak to ASTD members (trainers!!) the Chair and CEO of Mclagan Int'l should have known better.

As a speaker, trainer, and consultant, I am NOT sorry that I get to present to you; I'm NOT sorry you are in a position to learn from my presentation. Instead, I embrace the opportunity I have as a presenter, each and every time whether I am granted 2 minutes or 2 weeks.


Chrisbie's Critique said...

Wonderful topic. I agree that if a presenter apologizes for any part of their content, mentally I miss out on whatever message they were delivering.

I have been in a position to deliver information that was not very popular. I did not apologize. I acknowledge when something isn't popular or well-received, but setting the tone is an important part of a presentation.

Imagine a salesperson contacting a customer and apologizing for the time-consuming questions they have to ask. Do you think the customer would want to continue the conversation? I wouldn't.

Helping participants understand the value of the message you are delivering is just as important as the content.

Alan Rains said...

I wouldn't begin my worlds' greatest novel with an opening like that!
I should have began my first wedding with an apology though!!!