Why most Conference Keynotes Are A Waste Of Time

boring Conference

I’ve sat through 9 keynote presentations this week and need to get something off my chest.

Dear conference presenter.

I have traveled to be at this conference because I want to learn, be inspired and have something useful and practical  to implement.

Please don’t:

Regurgitate the same crap as every other presenter!  I don’t want to hear another talk where you just repeat some other keynote you have heard.  If you are just going to quote other people in your talk, there is no reason for you to be here.

Speak in clichés.  If I hear the phrase pedagogy trumps technology one more time I might just throw up

Speak in a monotone voice. Oh my Gosh, If you aren’t excited about teaching me, then change careers.

Bitch and moan.  Education isn’t broken, it needs to evolve – everything does.  Lets work on our strengths, celebrate the wins and show others what is working.

Just show videos. I love context and seeing real world examples, but I am quite good at searching for YouTube videos and can find them on my own.


Make it practical.  Give me something to try with my students or staff.  I don’t need more theory, I need some practical, easy to follow steps to implement change and maximise my abilities

Tell your story.  Why is what you saying important to you? Learning is very personal.  I want to hear why it matters to you and why you care. Build a narrative around your points so what you are saying has some context.

Engage me as an adult not a student.  There is a world of difference between the way you teach students and adults.  Don’t speak down to me, ask me for eyes to the front, and please don’t ask us to sing a rhyme after you.

I hope that this isn’t too much to ask, I’m not being critical, just want to help.

Yours sincerely

A frustrated conference attender


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In 2018, Using Technology Better designed and delivered a two phase post-migration training program for this New Zealand based graphic design firm. The initial goal of the training program was to reduce frustration with G Suite, with the long term aim of facilitating a change in culture and collaboration that can lead to transformative practices

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