Unaccustomed As I Am To Public Speaking Part 2

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How’s your submission coming along? If you are intending to speak at this year’s BA Euro conference in September you’re running out of time to put your submission in to the committee. I have decided what I am going to go with this year and whether I am going to present on my own or with someone else.

David Beckham, Senior Business Analyst, Aviva; david.beckham@aviva.com
David has spoken at the 10th annual Business Analysis Conference Europe 2018 on the subject, ‘The Power of Change – a Personal Journey. View more information on this year’s Business Analysis Conference Europe 2019, which takes place 23-25 September 2019 in London. David is a member of the BA Conference Europe 2019 Advisory Board.
View the other entries in this blog series: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5

If you are a first time presenter it may be appealing and useful to co-present with a colleague for mutual support and benefit and in fact, this was the way I cut my teeth at BA Europe when I co-presented a three hour work shop. There are a lot of benefits to be gained from this method but also a few things you should consider before submitting:

a) Are your styles compatible? Too compatible? Will you gel on the day or will there be jarring segues? This applies not only to doing the presentation but to planning and preparing it; an improviser and a detail junkie will probably thoroughly annoy each other…..

b) Do you trust your colleague to keep to the plan and timings? I saw one two person presentation once where the fifty minute slot was supposed to be evenly split between two colleagues. However; one got a tad carried away and took 39 minutes. The ever growing despair on the face of their colleague was tragic…..

c) Are you located together in the same office? This is vital when it comes to rehearsals etc. Also if you are presenting with someone outside your organisation there may be issues with sending files to each other through corporate firewalls etc

d) Do you have a plan if you or your colleague are unable to attend the actual conference?

You need to consider these questions very carefully before you decide.

This year I am once again presenting (If I am successful with my submission) on my own. I have numerous presentations I could have used but in the end have decided to go with an elaboration of my evolving ‘Middle Way’ framework that I first alluded to on my blog here last year.

So, then I needed to craft the submission… although I had already developed some material for my internal BA Community I needed to summarise it into something relevant for an external committee to judge, something that wasn’t required when I presented it one of my regular community calls as it was my meeting! So I examined the material I had written to distill the core and hopefully sufficiently alluring message, which I eventually put forward as follows:

Business Analysis: The Middle Way

Drawing on both his 25+ year career in Business Analysis and his long-held interest in Samurai Japan, David synthesises these apparently disparate elements into a practical framework for Business Analysts everywhere. He will recount several historical examples from Samurai Japan that directly relate to the modern Business Analyst before explaining how these examples eventually formed a workable framework for him after several years of rumination. He will discuss the principles that inform this mindset and the advantages of maintaining “a beginner’s mind” whilst undertaking analysis on change programmes. During the session he will discuss how keeping to the Middle Way will allow you to:

• Manage conflict situations in a professional way
• Assist teams through crisis situations by leading calmly from the middle
• Boost your confidence by focussing on outcomes rather than outputs
• Discover the surprising similarities between the Bushi of medieval Japan and the Business Analyst of today…..!

Note it is written in the third person (think of it as a sales pitch), mentions a bit about me, indicates three learning points (positioning a couple of ‘proto-memes’) and finishes with what I thought was a nice flourish; highlighting the letters BU in Bushi and Business Analysis! Obviously I have yet to find out whether I have been successful but I am remain optimistic. If I am not successful, the next article may be quite brief but if I am, I will go on to describe how I will put my story together. Good luck if you are submitting!

David Beckham has spent his career working in Financial Services, initially at Norwich Union then subsequently with Aviva. He was a founder member of the Business Analysis Practice when it was formed within Aviva IT and has had two terms as the Practice Lead. He has worked on numerous large change programmes and has been heavily involved in building the capability of Business Analysis within the organisation over the last decade. He has presented at the European BA Conference on a regular basis and has had several articles published on Business Analysis topics. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2010 at the age of 43 David continues to relish his role as a Business Analyst and is a passionate advocate of the profession and the benefits it gives to organisations everywhere. Since his diagnosis David has been developing a series of seminars focussing on his recent experiences and regularly speaks on the positive power of change both on a professional and personal basis.

Copyright David Beckham, Senior Business Analyst, Aviva

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