Say Yes Now, Figure Out How Later

A couple of weeks ago, almost on a lark, I submitted a proposal for a talk to be given at Ignite Portland 4. Ignite Portland is an event wherein 13 speakers are each given 5 minutes to talk about the subject they proposed. The trick is, each speaker has to submit exactly 20 slides which will change exactly every 15 seconds during the course of the talk. Somehow, while writing the proposal, that didn’t seem so daunting to me, especially since I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of being selected. 

I began to have second thoughts the day after submission, when several people commented on twitter about how interesting they found my proposal. I’ll quote the text for you here: 

Spirituality in Community: It’s not just for religion anymore: 

Spirituality is a fundamental part of everything we, as humans, do. Given how much of ourselves we invest in our work lives, it’s no surprise that we derive great spiritual satisfaction and disappointment from our work and the relationships in our workplace. Yet this is an area that we rarely think about consciously when choosing a job or work situation. 

In five minutes, I’ll point out ways of thinking about spiritual satisfaction that will allow us to apply them to our work lives, and how to maximize the spiritual satisfaction we derive in the course of our workdays. This includes such things as finding meaning in our work, finding meaning in the relationships in the workplace, and appreciating the challenges which face us both as part of the job and as barriers to getting our jobs done.

Now, the problem is, that I have just taken two separate topics, each of which I probably have about a book’s worth of content for, and mashed them together for a five minute talk. 

  • Topic 1: A new definitoin of spirituality which implies that spirituality is inherent in everything we, as human beings do.
  • Topic 2: Spirituality in the workplace is good, important and very different from religion in the workplace. 
All of which means I’m going to have to speak very quickly. The real question is, what will I put on the slides?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the other presenters are  bit intimidating to be put into a group with. These are people with big personalities, sharp wits and something to say. And, well, most of them dress better than me, too. 
Nonetheless, somehow, I will come up with a short enough version of what I have to say, with visual accompaniement, by November 3 or thereabouts (which I’m beginning to suspect is sooner than I think). I am excited about doing this, and challenged by doing this. I’m hoping I have something adequate to say that I’m not wasting 600 semi-sober people’s time for 5 minutes (which, in case you are wondering, is 60 hours, cummmulatively). So whatever I have to say, it has to be worth about a full work week of time (but no pressure). 
I might go find a bed to hide under now. Thanks. 
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2 Responses to “Say Yes Now, Figure Out How Later”

  1. Elysbeth Says:

    You are up for the challenge. Congratulations at being chosen.

  2. Jeff Hardison Says:

    David, for what it’s worth, I’m honored to be presenting the same night as you. You’re brave to discuss often polarizing matters. And what other than polarizing matters is more important to discuss in a society in which we are increasingly joining echo chambers? Speak from both the heart and mind, and you’ll do fine. And, if some members of the audience don’t agree with you, remember, it’s not the first time a messenger has been met with opposition in the moment, yet understood later.


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