Tuesday, November 27, 2007

These are a Few of My Favorite Slides

I'm running out of disk space. My homebuilt PC has two hard drives. One has 80GB of storage and the other has 40GB. Yeah, that's so 2003. But when I rebuilt this thing in 2003, that was so much space that I partitioned those two drives into 20GB partitions, so I have 6 virtual drives. Problem is, unpartitioning is a real bear and a half. so I'm housecleaning as best as I can, but I think Christmas break will involve some really messy software reloading and the purchase of a bigger hard drive. Ew.

Anyway, in the process of housecleaning, I've wandered through my archive of presentations. (Note to self: MS Office 2003 doesn't like MS Office prior to Office 97, so it's time to do some file conversions, too.) Where was I? Oh yeah, presentations. I've kept a log of all the presentations that I've done over the years (back to 1989). Yes, a log. And I send it to people who want me to speak. It started as a list on my resume, then became a handy thing to send out when I was asked to speak, but the Chapter didn't know what they wanted to hear. (And I have most of the presentations in electronic form.) Since that first presentation in 1989 (which was written out as a paper, with no slides), I've done over 100 different presentations at various forums. In the past couple years, I've pulled back on the number that I do, but I had a couple years where I was out there a lot.

So I was wandering through a few of them. I've noticed that over time, I'm tending to be more minimalist in my slides -- more content, fewer graphics, less glitz. I guess I don't have the time to build slides and find solid graphics, so I'm just sticking with text and simple schemes. As I looked through my presentations, I recalled some of the venues and places that I had been to. I recalled audience reactions and my self-assessment of my performance. I've often said to people that I'm either cheap or good -- and that's why I get invited to speak.

Anyway, I wandered through the slides and I've pulled out a few of my favorites that I thought I'd try to share in my blog. Haven't tried embedding graphics, so we'll see how this goes...



This slide was from a presentation that I did in Boston at the 2003 ARMA Conference. That session was one that I remember like it was yesterday. I was absolutely in the zone. I had a ton of energy, a packed house, and all my jokes hit home. Athletes talk about games where they can't miss a jump shot, or the baseball looks like a volleyball, or every pass is on the money. That was me that day. This presentation pre-dated ARMA's competencies and it was my vision of what a records manager had to know to be successful. For a number of years, I've talked about the "cardboard ceiling" (something that I once heard mentioned by another speaker long ago). This slide is how I've finally come to represent that ceiling in terms of competencies. It's one of the best slides that I've created from scratch and it reminds me of the day where I hit a grand slam. Oh yeah, and that's the day that I oversold the room, so they had me do an encore a couple hours later... that one wasn't so good...




This slide is from my "Perfect Storm" presentation on various types of messaging. The background is awful busy, but the message is something that hits home. I had read this article a couple days before I first gave the presentation and it was one of the first times that I tossed in something fresh and unexpected in a presentation (it wasn't in the handout). records managers hadn't given much thought to Blackberries and really didn't understand them. When I presented this, there were audible gasps as some people in the audience realized that their It departments might just be logging every bit of message traffic coming from their companies' Blackberries. It wasn't so much worry about content, but worry about records being maintained -- and they had no idea they were out there. I do that a lot. I do a presentation and people walk away frightened...




This slide got me in a lot of trouble with my audience at the Chicago ARMA Conference in 2005 ("Taking a Leadership Role when IT and RM Intersect"). Oh, the negative comments on the session reviews! (But there were also quite a few, "Thanks for saying something that needed to be said, I'm tired of my staff looking like a bunch of unprofessional punks.") Anyway, I had been thinking about how many records managers carry themselves. I hate "Dress for Success" sessions myself, but I was starting to see a very disturbing trend of colleagues bemoaning their disrespect within their organizations, while carrying themselves and looking like they had no desire to set foot in the executive suite. At the time, I had found myself in much more of a consultative role in my firm and I was dealing with clients a lot. I found that even though I was the corporate records manager for my firm, I was being accorded much more respect by our firm's clients than the incumbent at the client (and all I was doing was taking away the client's HR files). I was providing advice that I know their records manager could provide and yet that person wasn't invited to the table. When I did insist that the records manager hear what I had to say, I was told bluntly by the client that their records manager wasn't capable of the analysis. I still insisted and then saw the issue -- jeans, ill-fitting, unpressed clothing. Clearly they saw this person solely as a box mover. Now I'm not Mr. GQ, but I could see why they marginalized their records manager.

But, oh, the reaction! "You don't understand anything about office culture today." "If I wear a suit to work, they will think I'm nuts." "Everyone here has body art... you're incredibly behind the times." Maybe so, but the last time I checked, the CEOs of my last two employers weren't into visible body art. You want to pierce or tattoo some part of your body, go right ahead... I'd prefer not to be able to tell what you pierced through your clothing... or lack thereof. And that might be a lovely red thong you're wearing, but in my book, Too Much Information... (Next on David Letterman, Ten ways to tell that you're turning into an old geezer...)

So that's the first installment of "...a Few of of my Favorite Slides". More as I find some to talk about...

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