My 2010 Session

Now that FlashBelt 2010, happening June 13-16, has opened registration, I feel okay with talking about my intended 2010 session. I also got the thumbs up from John Davey to say I am confirmed for Flash on the Beach 2010, September 26-29, as well! They’ll both be super fun and I highly recommend checking them out!

Here’s the session description:

Consider your past projects. Tight timeline? An art director or a technical lead with a huge ego? A project manager that neglects to disclose specific details? While these things directly impact your project you’ll find, more often than not, they can be more easily dealt with when you provide and receive proper, effective communication.

Let’s delve into how we deal with the people we deal with. Let’s look at how we speak to the people we speak to. Ins and outs of conversation. Lengthy meetings that test everyone’s patience. Email forwarding and why a few minutes of editing can save hours of time. Setting alerts. The little things, the big things and everything in the middle. Nothing should be overlooked. Taken in perspective, every project starts with a 50/50 chance of success. It’s how we as a team communicate that pushes that ratio one way or the other.

I’ve been doing this (making stuff in Flash) for over 10 years, working at large and small agencies, owning my own boutique flash shop, and as a freelancer. It’s been an interesting path to follow.

I was surprised by the reaction to my session at Flash on the Beach last fall. It felt like something out of fiction. However, all I did was point out things that could help a person get to work. Gratifying is not a strong enough word for the encouragement I received by my friends and the people that attended my little session on the last day of the conference with my broken voice and punctuated by timely(?) cursing.

I spent the next few months wondering how I could follow The 10 Best Things to NOT do Amazing Work up. Then a light bulb went off.

As a freelancer, I am graced with the ability to work on many different projects for many different agencies for many different clients. Since leaving my last full-time position, I’ve worked for OLG, Subaru, Nokia, Pedigree and Gillette. That’s exciting for me. After two years of one client, this potpourri of clients is like manna from heaven. It gives me pause to think how lucky I am.

Here’s the crux; I now work in one position for many different team dynamics. I see good and bad, exceptional and accepted. There is something to be said for effective communication that goes beyond simply doing your job and hoping everyone else is doing theirs. Of course, I like to turn that notion on its head and talk about a lack of effectiveness. Que sera sera.

Anyway, here’s my pitch. Come to my talk. Sit back, sit forward, stand up. However you like to watch and participate in sessions. I can promise it won’t be boring.

Dear conference or festival organizers, if you like the sound of this session, you too can have a lifesized Hugh at your event! Just ask and, as long as I agree with the premise of the event, I will totally be on board.

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