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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Waiting Well (or Why Cellphone Lots at the Airport are Awesome)

It took a while, but airports finally figured out how to harness the power of mobile telephone technology: make people wait in a place far away. And the weird thing is that we're all happy to do it. We joyfully drive off to the cell phone lot. You sit and wait. You don't know how long or when it will end. You just wait.

Waiting is terrible. We are a waiting averse people. We don't handle down-time well at all. We want to be busy and moving, so when it comes time to wait we're frustrated. We find ways to distract ourselves so that the waiting seems less painful. We build fantastic lines for rides at a mouse-themed park so that the wait is just a discovery of all the nooks and crannies of the line. We whip out our phones and text, play games or check Facebook. We make a quick call to move back the appointment we're supposed to be at right now (just passing the waiting on down the line).

When there are moments of waiting in a presentation time, what do you do? Make it purposeful, if you can. If you know there's going to be some down-time, put together one of those movie trivia type presentations, but tailor it to your topic. Put up slides that invite people to get to know each other, rather than just waiting silently next to other people. If you're the presenter, spend time mingling with the audience and talking to them while you all wait.

How can you wait well before your next presentation?

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