Friday, October 12, 2007

Arrogance vs Supreme Confidence?

by Ed Latham

If you have ever been taught something by a very experienced person with many insights, you may have been left with some extreme feelings. As soon as we approach an "authority" we naturally start measuring up the content to find its personal worth. There is a more subtle assessment that is made as well. As soon as we establish that the content being offered is worthwhile, there seems to be a natural inclination for people to establish whether the presenter is being arrogant or is very confident in the material. Many people do not see things black or white, and frequently we leave training opportunities with a feeling that people are somewhere in between. I have attended many presentations and in the debriefing conversations I have listened and participated in sharing sessions with peers in which the most heated feelings were centered around the presentation rather than the content. What actions or attitudes help us to delineate between arrogance and confidence? Here are some definitions to soak up first...



We are all presenters in our positions as educators. In our professional development experiences we have all run into presenters that almost exemplify either extreme. I think that by discussing these positive and negative traits, many of us can internalize and start analyzing how we come across to other people. What traits do confident presenters give off that arrogant ones do not and vice versa?

Today is the 20th annual ACTEM conference and people will be seeing many presenters. Grab all the content and experience you can get from this great experience, but I ask you to look at the traits the presenters have and try to relate those to your overall feelings during your reflections later this evening. Why did this presenter leave you feeling upbeat, angry, disappointed, energized or may you just felt lost?

No presenter starts out their morning saying, "Well they paid me a boat load of cash so I might as well go out there and tick some people off today .... hmmm how might I do that?" So with that in mind, please DO NOT post any specific names or "That guy that presented the snake dancing thing.." Instead keep your posts concentrating on the properties of the presentations that left you feeling that the presenter was arrogant or confident.

I am anxious to learn from everyone how we all view these two feelings that presenters often leave us with!

Technorati Tags:

No comments: