Sometimes distorting the truth is a good thing.
I just got back from a speech at the California Accounting and Business Conference. I was asked by the public relations department to deliver a speech since Sage as a sponsor gets a free speaking slot. The title given my talk was Client Accounting Systems. The subtitle was What CPAs need to know to help their clients in 2008.
Rather than give a technology speech on the title, I decided to focus on the subtitle. The talk was a combination of the dangers of solutionism, Blockian consulting theory, and Khalsarian questioning techniques. All duly cited as having influenced me.
The material, while great, is not important. My point here is that had I entitled the session The Dangers of Solutionism or Asking Great Questions to Help Your Customers Understand Value, I doubt that a) the organizers of the conference would have let me give the speech, and b) even if they did, no one would have come.
I had about 100 people who all initially sat in their chairs as if they were in Old Sparky. Most were reading a book or doing email on their crackberries. It was the classic, “I am here for the CPE crowd.” Within seconds, I got their attention, “Do you mind if I don’t use PowerPoint?” Head snaps from the people reading.
Overall, we had a great session, le de coup de grace was at the end when a fine gentleman who sat in the front row came up to me afterwards and said, “Sonny, I am in my seventies and I have never been to a better presentation.” HSD!
By the way, there is no free beer.