A Smarter Intro

Water? (All rights reserved.)
Yesterday I attended an Urban Water Security Symposium held by Queensland Conservation with support from CQUniversity Australia and other organisations.  It was a fantastic event with excellent speakers and topics, and great technical content clearly presented and supported with examples of real world application.

Alan Hoban of Water by Design started his presentation with:  "Imagine that an alien came down to Earth.  How would you describe what water is?"

Alan went on to talk about water being colourless and odourless and transparent; and how we often talk about water in terms of the aspects that are not water, like whether it is salty or fresh.  And then he was off and away telling us about significant design projects harnessing the qualities of water.

In a leadership training session I recently asked the audience to chat among themselves and try to answer the question:  "What is this leadership thing about?"  This question was purposely extremely broad.  It is also very intentionally not a definition from the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, or even the (unsourced) Google Dictionary.

Think about starting your next session by asking people to try to explain the thing you are to discuss.  This could work for any topic from organisational growth to genetic mutation to genealogy to governance.