Exemplar Wave 5 Highlights – Conferences

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our series of highlighted exemplar recognitions. See our introduction post for all the details, or view all the posts in this series. This article was written by New Jersey Area Rep Dan Collins.

Whenever we run one of our regional conferences, there’s always a huge amount of effort put in by the organizers and by volunteer room leads and testing coordinators. However, our presenters are clearly the main event. Here are a few examples of exemplar recs that came out of the Northeast’s Spring conference.

At the spring 2016 Judge Conference you were impressive. I thought that your session on Modern Rules interactions was presented very well. I was able to take a lot away from the session, not just in rules knowledge, but also in how to hold and present yourself while teaching. Later on at the Don’t Make Assumptions panel during our conversation you were very insightful and helpful while leading the conversation. Stepping up in a situation and being a leader during a very difficult discussion is both brave, and improves the community at large. Thank you for sharing your insight with us.

Bobby presented on common rules interactions in Modern. For his first conference presentation, it sounds like it went very well: he took a topic that could have been very dry and made it into an engaging learning experience. The other part of this exemplar rec isn’t even from his own talk, though. At one of the talks he attended, he was leading the discussion of a difficult topic, and Bryan Hare submitted Bobby’s first exemplar recognition for his leadership and insight in that session.

Mani, at the Northeast Judge Conference in March, you did an outstanding job with your seminar. You took an important topic that many judges need to improve on and organized the material effectively and clearly. Your delivery was polished, professional and remarkably well-rehearsed.

Mani set out to give a fairly straightforward talk: how to take judge calls. As is his style, he knocked it out of the park. His talk was planned out and well paced. He used his slides to augment his talk and to inject some humor into it. This was also Mani’s first time presenting at a conference.

Nathaniel, your showing at your first Judge Conference makes me look forward to what you will do in the future as a valued community member. I was in three conference sessions with you. Each time, you added a lot of value. You volunteered and spoke up freely and insightfully, while at the same time avoiding common L1 traps of focusing on corner cases or just talking everyone’s ear off. I felt like the conference was better for having you in attendance, and you’ll always be welcome in the audience at any of my presentations.

The last two were first-time presenters, now let’s talk about someone who wasn’t even presenting! A major part of conferences is sharing experiences – sessions shouldn’t just be lectures, they should be conversations. Nathaniel helped embody that at the conference: not monopolizing the presentations time, not getting bogged down in corner cases, but contributing to each talk he attended. I’m glad to see that his contribution to the conference did not go unnoticed!

I really appreciate the time you took to speak with me about my presentation after it concluded at the recent conference in NJ. Your advice, while aligned with my own opinion, is certainly very detailed and valuable to better my presentation for the next conference. Not only will it help me make a better presentation for less experienced judges on the topic it will help me make it better for more experienced judges on the topic which is something that I knew going in the presentation would struggle with. Thanks again for sharing your advice and taking the time to e-mail me afterward with a summary of that advice!

And of course, one step after participation is feedback. Nicola presented on Investigations. Eric took the time to give Nicola feedback directly after his talk, helping him refine his delivery and focus his content. Eric also followed up via email to make sure that Nicola could use and understand his feedback.

Adrian, your presentation at the judge conference in NJ was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It was a great intersection of professional, interactive, and just generally friendly and engaging. Good job making ODEs seem less scary and more fun.

Adrian also received his first ever exemplar rec this wave for his presentation, where he included a unique form of class participation. He made his attendees stand up and walk around! Let me explain. Adrian was presenting on how to run On Demand Events at a Grand Prix or SCG Open. One of the most important parts of that is to get the players in the right seats, so their results will match up with the pre-printed bracket. Adrian came ready with sample brackets and after talking over the process in his slides, he had his class stand up and practice starting a draft in person. Many people at his seminar learned from his talk, but also appreciated his delivery.

So there it is – presenting, participating, and delivering feedback at our regional conferences. If you want to see where some of these recs came from, we have videos of each of the conference talks – and hopefully we’ll have some news soon about a fall conference. In the mean time, enjoy prerelease!

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