Tim Sackett’s Top 10 (Not Boring) Things to Catch at SHRM Orlando

The big annual SHRM National Conference happens starting Sunday in Orlando.

I’ll be there. SHRM is letting me speak again this year, which is cool, and I’m as subversive as SHRM gets, which makes it fun for me.

I always get a lot of SHRM dignitaries that show up to make sure I don’t say anything inappropriate, which makes me get very creative with my words, and if you read my blog you know that list of words in my vocabulary is roughly around 350.

Catch Sackett for breakfast – 7 am on Monday

To combat the possibility I might slip up they put me at times they hope no one will show up. This year I’m on at 7 am on Monday!

SHRM OrlandoYeah, 7 freaking am! Good thing for me I’m a morning person and I drink giant amounts of Diet Mt. Dew – I will have one on stage with me! If you bring me one, I’ll line them up and try to knock them all down in my hour and 15 minutes!

Bobbi Wilson from Huntsville, AL SHRM (she’s good people; connect with her!) asked me who I would like to see speak at SHRM, besides myself, and I thought it would make a good post, so here’s my Top 10 don’t miss presentations at SHRM!

My rules for a great SHRM session

First we have to lay down some rules of why and who I will choose:

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  • A. I’ll always choose entertaining speakers over non-entertaining speakers. It’s an HR conference, we’ll have our share of boring ones!
  • B. I like practitioners, but don’t get too caught up in that. Most of the best speakers used to be practitioners who found out they’re pretty damn good speakers, so they went the consultant route and doing very well. Many practitioners are knowledgeable but can’t speak a lick!
  • C. Titles mean a lot. If you can’t come up with a creative title, my guess is you can’t come up with a creative presentation.

My Top 10 things to see at SHRM Orlando

So, here’s who I will see if I have time in between networking with all the great HR Pros who come to SHRM (I usually get more out of the networking than the presentations!):

  1. Tim Sackett, SPHR @ Monday 7 amWhat Your CEO Wishes HR Would Do! I hear he gives out hugs after his presentation. Plus, he’ll be all jacked up on Mt. Dew!
  2. Jonah Berger @ Tuesday 2:15 pmCrafting Contagious Ideas. This might be the only session I will actually attend. This dude is brilliant, and a great speaker. He’s my No. 2 behind Malcolm Gladwell. You should not miss this. #Fanboy
  3. Jennifer McClure @ Wednesday 10 am – (Friend alert! At some point, Jen and I will share a Sprinkles Cupcake during SHRM – you’re not invited!) – The Business Case for Building Effective Business Leaders. This is actually the worst title in the history of SHRM that doesn’t include “FMLA” or “EEOC,” but Jen is a pro’s pro who understands how to get a session accepted at SHRM. The title has to be vanilla! Don’t hold that against her. She’s really good and has a cult following of HR ladies who love her!
  4. Gregg Tate, GPHR @ Tuesday 10:45 amAdidas: How They Created Their nWow (New Way of Working) Company Culture. I’ve seen the Adidas guys speak before and they’re usually good with a good story. Insider tip: see how they pronounce “Adidas” – many insiders from Germany do it differently than we say in the states. You can’t get it out of your head!
  5. Mike Reardon @ Monday 10:45 amSustaining the Disney Culture Through Selection, Training, and Engagement.
  6. Brad Karsh @ Monday 2:00 pmOnce Upon a Time… Four steps to Using Storytelling to Deliver Unforgettable Presentations. This is the most underutilized skill in HR, period. You’ll be a better HR Pro if you have this skill — not just for presentations but increasing your influence throughout your organization.
  7. Chester Elton @ Monday 4:00 pmAll In: How Great Leaders Develop a Culture of Belief and Deliver Big Results. Chester is a good speaker. Doesn’t matter what he’s presenting, he’s probably better than most at that time slot. He’s polished and will deliver a good show.
  8. Cy Wakeman @ Tuesday 7 amReality-Based Rules of the Workplace: New HR Foundation to Boost Employee Value and Drive Results. Cy has the session of death; no one wants to get up after partying Monday night for a 7 am session! But Cy knows her stuff. I like going to presentations where I’m going to hear from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, and she does!
  9. Michelle Smith @ Tuesday 4 pmNext Practices Leadership: Driving Growth & Innovation in a People-Led Economy. Michelle is from O.C. Tanner and they’ve got some great research on engagement, what works, what doesn’t – well worth the time to see her speak to get that data!
  10. Vendor Show @ Every day, all day – Pick out three kinds of technology you might bring into your HR shop in the next  three years (digital interviewing, automated reference checking, assessments, recruiting tools, metrics, etc.) and good spend some real time demoing of those products. It will be some of the most valuable time you spend at SHRM! Part of our job in HR is to know what we’ll be using in the future, this is where you’ll find that stuff! Scout out the small booths in the back aisles. There will be companies there that you haven’t heard about, that in three years everyone will be using, that’s really, really cool!

Connect with me. One of my favorite things to do at SHRM National is to meet HR pros around the world who read my blog.

I get to Orlando on Sunday and leave Wednesday. Tweet me, email me, call my cell, stalk my session – but let’s connect in a real way (OK, I mean hugging!).

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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