“out of scope”

Wow. I haven’t blogged in almost a month! Not technical, but I’m going to share a gripe on “out of scope” today. I’ve had two instances where I went to a “session” expecting to learn one thing and then when asking a question, learning the “speaker” considers it is out of scope. You’ll notice I didn’t use the word meeting, presentation or presenter in there once.

At the NY SPIN, Ramvasan spoke about “Facilitating Meetings”. So far so good. However, he only considers meetings to be certain things. And a one hour training session isn’t one of them. Nor is a “mandatory” meeting. Nor is anything that isn’t a team meeting as near as I can tell.

Yesterday, I went to the Toastmasters conference and attended a “session” called “Presentation Zen.” It was about how you are the presentation and not the slides. So far so good. However, he doesn’t consider a “session” where you have to deliver a lot of facts to be a presentation. He did give some ideas on what to do. But when pushed fell back to the definition.

Both of these feel a bit like a cop out to me. Surely an expert/presenter on a topic has an opinion on how to handle things that aren’t exactly what they set out to speak about.

What’s worse is this closes the mind of the audience. If you are going to draw a box around your material and dismiss what is outside the box, I want to find this out in the first five minutes of the presentation. Not when someone has something that sounds like a perfectly legitimate question.

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