The Parachuted Presenter’s Promise

You have received an invitation to fly to another continent to deliver a one-hour training presentation within the context of a longer, carefully designed workshop, on an important subject that you know a great deal about.

You are a Parachuted Presenter, dropping in to share some wisdom that can be helpful, hopefully, to the group as they go forward with their project, programme or task.

Here is the Parachuted Presenter’s Promise – Please sign on the dotted line:

I will…

  • Be available in the weeks and days before hand to skype or connect with the organizers about my session.
  • Ask questions and inform myself about the wider agenda so that I can connect my content most effectively to what is going on and the specific objectives of the programme.
  • Send in my materials and equipment needs and any PPT or other presentation materials well in advance (and double check that they have been received). (Corollary: I will not send them in the morning of my session to someone who is in the session and won’t see them until the moment I go on.)
  • Come into the session before mine to listen in, get to know the participants a little, see how I can best connect my content to the overall discussion, and get a feel for the tone of the workshop.
  • Take a moment to talk to the main session facilitator to see, from her perspective and understanding of the overall flow, how I can best connect my content to what is going on around it.
  • Check in with the main facilitator prior to my session to see if timing has changed at all, whether it has shifted to another time, or changed in terms of length as I know that my intervention is connected to everything else that is going on in the workshop. I will be flexible.
  • Tell the main session facilitator how to introduce me and frame my intervention (if I have not been able to do that in advance.)
  • Come in early to see if the room is set up in the way I would like it, and check that my presentation materials have been loaded and tested.
  • Bring my own specialised materials if I need them.
  • Keep track of time during my session, and stay within my allocated time. I know that I am not the only presenter and that time is a common pool resource that we have to manage together, even if I have flown in from 3791 miles away.
Signed ______________________________ (Parachuted Presenter)
As the main session facilitator, I thank you very much for your understanding. I am doing a million other things and I really appreciate that you have checked your assumptions about what is and isn’t and that you take full responsibility for the success of your session, so that we all can be happy about contributing to a great meeting.
(…and when I am a Parachuted Presenter, I will do the same!)
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