Usually when seeking to present at a conference, you submit a proposal with an outline or objectives, but once selected to present you are on your honor to adhere to what you proposed. I have presented at many conferences where that has been the case, but the organizers of an upcoming conference have taken their quality control to a new level. For this event, I have received multiple instructions and I need to submit my slides three weeks in advance. After they are reviewed, I’ll have a 20-minute phone call to go over my content and ensure that the presentation is interactive and advanced enough for the audience.
I welcome the clarity that the organizers are trying to provide. It feels like they are trying to set me up for success rather than leaving me on my own and the results to chance. It has caused me to up my game and really think about the material that I am sharing in hopes that it meets their exacting standards.
It occurs to me that these organizers are spending more time to set and manage expectations for my 70-minute session than many supervisors do for much more extensive and impactful assignments. How many times has your manager given you a task and then let you go do it without any conversation about expectations or parameters? Have you, as a supervisor, done the same for your employees?
You may not want or need to hold someone’s hand or go through this extensive of a review process if the person or project is familiar, but it provides a good model to follow for new ventures. Be clear about what you are seeking, and then take care that both parties understand how to translate those expectations into tangible actions.