Speed dating conversation examples
The experienced managers listed three significant lessons they had learned in managing markets. The experienced managers stayed put, while the inexperienced rotated one station.The experienced mangers lined up against one wall (think an 8 grade dance), and then the inexperience managers selected one for a conversation. Instructions were given to talk about either the same topics (since different people might have different views) or new ones. After a second period had passed, this conversation was closed, and the speed mentoring ended.As an antidote, Robert Chambers, in his superb book Participatory Workshops, proposes the "buzz": "So easy. Invite participants to buzz with others next to them--about what has just been covered or done, an issue that has arisen, the agenda.The immediate wake-up often includes learning by talking." Speed dating takes these conversations a step further by focusing on a specific topic of interest and by recognizing that individuals fill different roles in many conversations.Extending these unstructured networking periods provides one way to improve these events.But another, underutilized means for strengthening them is by carefully integrating structured networking periods into the conference schedule.Participants had renewed energy to face the afternoon workshops. Participatory workshops: A sourcebook of 21 sets of ideas and activities. These two examples demonstrate that pairing up people with a purpose can achieve excellent learning and networking results.
The traditional format for this program was a mix of speeches, panels, and workshops, along with long breaks that featured outstanding food provided by the farmers and prepared by the chefs.
At Oregon State University we have begun using variations on the "speed dating" model (just another name for structured networking) in a wide variety of settings. Sessions in conferences and workshops, whether keynote addresses, panels, or town hall meetings, share a common characteristic: one person at a time speaks, and everyone else is expected to listen.
After hours in that role, it is little wonder that participants pour out into breaks, hungry for conversation.
A panel of veteran market managers providing tips and suggestions has always been valuable, but it suffers from a format that is too similar to all the other sessions.
At the 2003 meeting, OFMA replaced the panel with "Speed Mentoring." The entire group divided itself into two categories--experienced managers and inexperienced managers.
A show of hands revealed that all felt that they had made useful business contacts.