A wrench got thrown into my Gov 2.0 Expo preso planning while I was picking myself up a bride Down South. It actually made me question whether I wanted to go through with it at all. However, after some hard thinking, I’m putting on the smiley face and taking my cheek-splitters like a man.
Let me explain.
The Gov 2.0 organizers contacted me about my presentation, “Instituting a Culture of AWESOME in Government: The Case of the IED Task Force Tech Team,” a couple weeks ago. They told me that they were altering the format of the conference and that my presentation was being shortened from the originally proposed 50 minutes to FIVE minutes. Apparently, they thought it would be so much cooler if they bunched in a ton of 5 minute “rapid fire” presos around the keynote address. There were a lot of platitudes about how great my proposal was and how AWESOME it would be condensed to 5 minutes.
How do you “condense” a case study, which by definition is the result of an analysis? It’s like saying, “Hey, dude, I love your book! Can you give me a pamphlet version?” Considering how much effort I’ve already put into researching this topic, a FIVE MINUTE presentation does the material – especially this material – a disservice.
I wrote the organizers back expressing my discontent but also offering an alternative: how about I come up with something else related to creating AWESOME culture in government that I could adequately fit in the time limit? Apparently, the organizers really wanted the IED Task Force Tech Team case study but felt it wasn’t topical enough to warrant a full panel. They adamantly demanded I present the same topic as originally proposed. Basically, do it or hit the road, jack.
Now this all sounds like inside baseball and dirty laundry, but I’m recounting it to demonstrate something. Despite the sheer shittiness of the situation, it forced me to sit down and think hard about what I was being asked to do. Is it worth taking a stand against this tomfoolery? Should I risk standing behind my material if it means getting kicked off the ticket? Is it even possible to give a good presentation on my original topic under these new circumstances? Am I betraying my AWESOME if I cave to these new demands? In this case, can you still be AWESOME living on a compromise?
At the end of the day, I accepted… and here’s why:
- I can’t trade the exposure I’ll get at this conference at this stage of my career.
- It will be an even more challenging exercise boiling my preso down to something entertaining and valuable.
- I think I can still deliver an AWESOME preso.
- Who knows what I can get away with on the day of?
Don’t be mistaken though: I’m not compromising on this. I’m acceding to the organizers’ demands. I think that’s an important distinction.
All that said, though, I’m still gonna fucking ROCK this expo. Fifty minutes, five minutes, whatever. It’s just less time into which I gotta pack a more concentrated dose of AWESOME.
So bring a spare pair of panties– IT’S ON.