When Combustion shows up at a conference, we show up large! A few weeks ago, President and Chief Fire Starter Leslie Ehm along with the Combustion Training crew took both the exhibition floor and the training rooms by storm at the Institute for Performance & Learning 2017 conference here in sunny, autumn wind-blasted Toronto.
Leslie has a philosophy about the kind of sessions she likes to deliver at industry events like I4PL. For her, it’s an opportunity to truly give back to her peers and share some of her insights and expertise on training the Combustion way. This year was no different. In her session Keepin’ It Real: The Power of Personal Authenticity in Training, Leslie shared her secrets to finding and unleashing your trainer ‘swagger’ while staying firmly connected to your truth, intention, and self-belief. Fuelled with content from her upcoming book (appropriately named Swagger) she flew her freak flag high and even got to deliver an unplanned master class on keeping the audience cool and on-track when a mouthy participant tried to hijack the room. Not gonna happen on Leslie’s watch. How’d she do it? By walking the walk of her talk and being authentically Leslie.
The big takeaway for the audience – when you let go of the layers of insecurity and fear separating your true self from your persona, you can keep your centre, and your message, completely on track.
Participants repeatedly told us that they had heard the Combustion booth “was the one to check out”. People spun the Combustion Swag Hole and reached their arms in for Silly Putty, stress-ball brains, and other swag, and best of all, there were tons of lively conversations about the future of training and the state of the industry – all punctuated with hugs (of course).
On day 2, Leslie kicked off the day with a creativity-fuelled experience on the exhibition floor that had people shaking off their brain inhibitions and embracing their creativity – in less than an hour! Not only tons of fun, it offered participants real tools they can take with them back to their workplace.
The icing on the I4PL cake came when Leslie and Combustion VP, Fuel, Paul Fleming attended the I4PL Awards dinner. To their screaming delight, Combustion client TD Canada won the Award of Excellence in Learning Design for the Technology Leadership Program that Combustion was the key learning partner for. We are proud beyond belief! Go team!
So did Combustion succeed at ‘loving the people’? A couple of days after I4PL, an attendee that had been at Leslie’s session and had some juicy discussions with her at the booth, tracked us down in our chic new office! The attendee gave Leslie a book and an amazing letter to say thank you for sharing at the show! Wow. We truly met a ton of amazing people at #I4PL2017.