Home

As much as we try, many of the panelists in Davos ignore our injunction against preparing speeches. There are a few speeches at the Annual Meeting: this year, Blair, Clinton, Summers, Albright and the King of Jordan will have a chance to make a “special message”.

mandela_smallk:
Only a few get speeches in Davos.
Mandela was one.

For everyone else, we are seeking initial comments of between three and six minutes (depending on the session), followed by interactive discussion. Prepare by thinking, by making some brief notes, by contacting other people in the session to compare approaches. Don’t write a speech.

Sessions that don’t work in Davos (and there are always a few) are characterised by panelists going on for too long, leaving little or no time for questions. With our demanding participants, that creates high levels of dissatisfaction.

To this end, in Davos 1999 we instituted a “moderators’ bootcamp” on the Wednesday just before Davos officially kicks off. The goal is to convince our moderators that they need to be — and can be — tough with our panelists, no matter how eminent. It seems to have worked: all of the feedback from the 1999 Annual Meeting indicated that the overall quality of sessions improved. We’re planning on another step change upward in quality — and toughness of moderators — this year.

One thought on “Home

  1. Dave Winer

    To this end, in Davos 1999 we instituted a “moderators’ bootcamp” on the Wednesday just before Davos officially kicks off. The goal is to convince our moderators that they need to be — and can be — tough with our panelists, no matter how eminent.

    Very good! That’s what makes the difference between being a “conference” and a “meeting”.

    In my DaveNet Live sessions I always pull the mike from people who are boring the audience. I’ve had a few occasions where I pissed people off, sometimes even have not been invited back, but when it really works, it’s been a raging success.

    I moderated a panel at Seybold a few years back, “Can Apple Survive?” with some of the heaviest hitters in the publishing world. They had all bet heavy on the Mac, and they were teetering on the edge of wholesale switching to Windows. All their points of view were heard, and I believe this one session saved the publishing market for the Mac.

    Of course the Apple execs (now long-gone) went to war with me. But guess what, the management of Seybold backed me up! Now, this year, I’m keynoting. Craig Cline, the editorial director of Seybold, is a man you would like Lance, imho. And the tradition was started by Jonathan Seybold, who was *the best* at asking the pointed question, the one the person being interviewed doesn’t want to hear, but everyone in the audience wants to hear the answer to.

    Too many conferences leave this question hanging in the air. That’s why so many people spend time in the hallways.

    You’re doing it the right way, and this one paragraph cements it to me that we are brothers in the fight to Get Stuff Done.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *