As a professional member of the clergy (I get mail addressed to Reverend Addis… it’s still funny to me) I have developed some mad skills at conference attending.
It’s a little known fact that there are varying levels of ability, not just among those on the platform presenting, but those of us who are skilled, invested and experienced professional listeners. Let me just outline a few for you:
1) Appearing Interested – while every session is good for someone, not every session is good for you. So, to keep from being rude by distracting others with accelerated, involuntary nostril emanations (AKA snoring), a skill set of forced eye contact, meaningful head nods and well placed nonverbal affirmations are essential.
2) Ninja Texting/Surfing – everyone knows you’re not reading your Bible on YouVersion, or taking notes for future references… you’re Tweeting, Facebooking, or looking for ‘Epic Fail’ pics to replace your profile photo. It’s ok, just learn the art of secretive cell phone use. Under the desk, inside the conference program, pushed into a coat or sweater on your lap are all good camouflage techniques for hiding the phone. Just remember, if you are in a darkened seating area, your face will glow no matter how well hidden the phone is, so, use at your own risk.
3) Tactical Seating Selection – there are several things to keep in mind here, but just start with these: aisle seating for fictitious bathroom breaks (limit 2 per daypart), outlet access for midday phone charging (let’s be honest, you’ll drain it before they drain you), support beam seating (usually sitting behind a pole is non-desireable, but the right seat behind the right pole can help you to lean one way for engagement and the other for disengagement).
There is much more that I could share, but I think you get the idea (maybe I should hold a conference on how to develop these skills… maybe not).
But, what’s the point?
A common question that I hear at Continue reading “Mission Improbable”