Training Time

9 minutes—how tough can that be?

By Brian Willis  |   Apr 3, 2015

[Editor’s Note: Brian Willis is the deputy executive director of ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association). He will be presenting the Emerson Hour the ILEETA Conference on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m., which is sponsored by Calibre Press. If you haven’t yet registered for the conference, do it now!]

As a trainer an 8-hour class is usually easier to teach than a 4-hour one. Four hours is easier than 2, and 2 hours is easier than a 45 minute keynote.

One of the most challenging talks you will ever give is one that is 9 minutes long. Especially if during that 9 minutes you aren’t allowed to use PowerPoint, audio recordings or video. And, there’s a large clock at the back of the room counting down the 9 minutes and a large horn that goes off when your time is up.

What I have just described is The Emerson Hour at the ILEETA International Training Conference. There are six speakers who are each given 9 minutes to address Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Question, “What has become clear to you since we last met?”

To those who don’t speak or train for a living, 9 minutes would seem to be far easier than a full day seminar. Some trainers and speakers mistakenly think that because they teach for a living they can ‘just wing it’ for 9 minutes and ‘speak from the heart.’

You can wing it for 9 minutes, but it will be obvious to everyone that is exactly what you’re doing. To do a great job in that 9 minutes you must speak from the heart, but you also have to commit the time to planning, preparation, practice, refinement, practice and more practice.

In a full-day seminar you can ramble on and take your time making a point. In 9 minutes you must be clear, concise and well prepared.

The Emerson Hour is sponsored by Calibre Press and will take place from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on April 20 at the 2015 ILEETA International Training Conference and Expo at the Westin Chicago North Shore, Wheeling, Ill.  Who’s speaking at this year’s event? You have to attend to find out. The list of speakers is never released in advance and even the speakers don’t know who else is speaking until they show up that night.

The Emerson Hour is a powerful and unique event that you must experience. I hope to see you there.