Here’s what we know about the meetings industry and adult learning: people cannot sit still for even 45 minutes and learn all of the way through. Our minds wander. It just doesn’t work. This is in my opinion, this is a scientific fact.
Furthermore, we know from industry studies and surveys that attendees at conventions and meetings crave interactivity, interaction, and networking. They crave community.
Yet ironically, live meetings frequently feature 90 minute presentations. To our presentations. And longer. And to make it worse, a huge percentage of these meetings prefer not to have interactivity.
I have heard this extremely frequently from prospective clients; “Our people want to sit and listen. They don’t like interactivity. They are serious and quiet people and don’t want to be involved.”
Get it!? There is a huge disparity between what we know works and what many old school meeting planners want. The attendees are craving a connection to community. And furthermore when they are at a session where they want to learn, the teaching format is contrary to what we know works.
Well Goodie. I’ve Got Good News.
I’ve been an interactive speaker well before it was fashionable. I get people up and moving, talking to each other, laughing, interacting, and meeting new folks at the convention. And I’m telling you… I’ve been doing it for years.
But there is an important detail; interactivity for its own sake is a waste. You really need interactivity AND a facilitated conversation about why that interactivity relates to their goals for the conference. We don’t want people to just play and laugh. We want them to learn – and that learning works best when they are playing and laughing.
For example, something I’ve been doing lately is fairly new. I get the entire audience to create an origami flower. It only takes a couple of minutes, and the audience loves it. They love the fact that they aren’t being lectured to. They love the fact that they are using their hands. They love the fact that they are being creative. And they love the fact that this is a small break in the learning format which helps keep them engaged.
What my meeting planners love is that the interactivity is just the start of a conversation. We talk about why we stopped to make flowers. Why we spent three or four minutes doing something that appears to be off-topic. But then we connect the interactivity to creativity, innovation, and even leadership.
As I motivational speaker I love it because little sections like this keep the learning on high, the fun on very high, and they help me to make my points.
If you are looking for a speaker who cannot only hold and engage an audience, but who can literally get them involved, then I hope you’ll give us a call. We will talk about developing a presentation that includes plenty of interactivity, tons of engagement, and maybe even a paper flower.
Brad Montgomery is a funny motivational speaker who is known for being exceptionally engaging. If you believe, as Brad does, that your people learn best when they are fully engaged – and maybe even laughing – then we should talk about how we will customize a presentation for your meeting and event. Give us a call! 303.691.0726