The Top Ten Reasons You Should Submit a Conference Presentation Proposal

June 22, 2017
Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

Two weeks remain for the Call for Presentations for the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference, and I find myself thinking about the perks of submitting a proposal.  Behold the result of my musings… the top ten reasons why you should do the deed:

1) Your learning deepens when you share what you know.  Have you ever noticed that when you are called to share what you’ve learned, there’s a way that your awareness and understanding of it deepens?  There’s something about the process of framing a learning experience for others that blows open new ways of seeing and thinking about something. Discovery is a rich and complex process full of unexpected twists and turns.  Ride the wave!

2) We are ALL leaders in the culture change movement.  Guess what?  There are no bystanders in culture change.  Yep. That means you.  Your voice and passion are vital to the cause.  We cannot do it without you. And if you go all stingy on us and withhold your experience, knowledge, and brilliance from us… it’s going to take that much longer to create a vision of change we want to see for Elders everywhere.

3) Practice applying adult learning principles. Person-directed care teaches us that no two peeps are alike. Adult learning principles second that emotion by giving us tools to support unique learning styles. Presentations help us think through how to reach different types of learners.  We need these skills every day as change agents who walk the talk of making it about each unique individual.

4) Changing the culture of care is a team sport. We’ve all heard the expression that the “sum is greater than its parts.”  My friends, together we are stronger.  When we pool our resources and combine them in new and innovative ways, we can move mountains.  If we want a revolution, we must exchange best practices freely and often. Change starts here.

5) Hone your skills as a group facilitator. A powerful part of successful culture change is learning to be a facilitative leader. Presenting to groups challenges us to think about how to engage the knowledge in the room, as well as our own.  Creating interactive learning experiences helps you refine and master this absolutely vital skill set. Practice makes perfect, baby.

6) Build on strengths.  It’s what we teach, right? When we build on strengths – ours and those of others – life is easier and more aligned with creating an inspired and empowered existence for all involved.  When we share our strengths, we offer others a roadmap for cultivating those same qualities in themselves.

7) Fall in love with your work all over again.  Just when I’m feeling jaded, cynical, and ready to throw in the towel, an opportunity comes along to share the spirit of this important work with people who know little about it.  I walk away from that interaction thinking, “Dang… I am a part of something that has the potential to open hearts and minds and transform the lives of people everywhere.” Talking about, teaching about, and sharing about person-directed care keeps us grounded in why we are in the game.

8) Plain and simple, you rock.  Holding back your light, your spirit, your commitment to the movement, and your belief that it can be different is serving no one.  Least of all you.  Successful culture change requires each of us to step into what’s possible – and that means owning how amazing and powerful we are AND what we have to offer.  Shine on.

9) It’s mad fun.  Let’s face it.  Going to a conference and showing whatcha got is not so different from spilling out the contents of your Halloween candy bag on the floor with your best friends and trading your licorice for someone else’s Hershey’s kisses.  Everybody wins and has a darn good time doin’ it.

10) You know you want to.  Right? So, click here already.

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