You Must Recruit The Powerhouse Of Your Attendees’ Brains For Real Engagement

braincomputerinterface by ARS Electronica

Have you ever had a slap-your-forehead-duh-moment? Without realizing it, you have literally tapped, one of the most important regions of your brain: the prefrontal cortex (PFC). It’s the area directly behind your forehead. The PFC is a powerhouse region of your brain. It controls whether your attendees are engaged at your event. You need to know how to kick-start the PFC if you want your attendees to pay attention and be involved. And how to avoid shutting down your attendees’ PFC. The … [Read more...]

Time To Face This Ironic Truth: We Do Not Learn From Experience

DebriefingLesson by TeachAgPSU

There, I said it. People do not learn from experience. You may think you learn from experience but… People only learn from reflecting on their experience. That’s the point author, facilitator and educator Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan drives home in his writings and workshops. The Key To Learning From An Experience If people learn from experience, Thiagi stresses, would they make the same mistake over and over again in their life? The key to learning from an experience is thinking … [Read more...]

Confusion And Brain Strain Are Freakish Factors Required To Learn


Whenever possible the brain operates on autopilot. That’s why for example you can fold laundry while having a conversation. Your brain goes on autopilot to fold clothes so you can focus your thinking on the conversation. When you do something over and over again, your brain picks up the pattern and reverts to autopilot. This impacts the traditional conference lecture. We’ve been to so many lectures that the brain coasts on cruise control. The Challenge With Most Conference … [Read more...]

All Brains Use These Four Things To Survive Conference Experiences

I Will Survive by Pollobarba

We are born with the capacity for fear and pleasure. Unfortunately, we are not born with the knowledge of what to fear. Or what gives pleasure. We learn those things. Our Brain’s Four Wants At A Conference Our brains survive most conference experiences. Regardless how good or how bad they are. It is rare to hear of someone dying from a bad conference experience. Although many of us have zombie-like near brain-death experiences because some of them are so boring. Author James E. Zull … [Read more...]

Snack Bite-Size Learning Rules The Roost At Conferences

Blogger Karla Gutierrez gives five reasons why bite-size learning works at Shift's eLearning blog. Here's one key point all conference organizers and speakers should know and implement: Chunk Content In 10 Min Sections Bite-size learning as well as bite-size instruction improves an attendee's psychological engagement. It prevents cognitive overload and mental burnout. It also encourages us to process information and consider its application. It is impossible for us to focus on any one … [Read more...]

Cheat Sheet: Using Group Talk As Discussions For Conference Education

2013.08.22_The discussion

The evidence is loud and clear that peer discussions are more effective than lectures if memory and knowledge retention, attitude, behavior and skill change, and learning are the goals. Just dividing a traditional lecture into 10 minute chunks and then giving the audience two to ten-minute breaks for time for discussion increases learning. How Discussions And Democracy Are Intertwined Using discussions as a learning method is a valuable and exciting way for revealing diverse … [Read more...]

Five Ways To Combine Conference Lectures With More Effective Education

In principle, there are many education methods that could replace conference lectures. The research is loud and clear that the majority of these education methods are more effective than the conference lecture. Yet, the conference lecture dominates the most conference education. Yes, the lecture has a place. Unfortunately, conference organizers give it too much prominence. To paraphrase Professor Donald Bligh, the heavy reliance placed upon conference lectures and its frequent use as an … [Read more...]

Want To Know Why Your Conference Fails At Changing Behavior?

The traditional lecture, the primary education method of your conference, fails at promoting learning! Yes, it’s true. The conference lecture is only good for transmitting information. (Bligh 1970, 2000). It is not good for changing attitudes, behaviors or skills. (Bligh 1970, 2000) The Lecture Is Good For Teachers Bad For Learners As long as your conference promotes lectures as the primary method of providing education, it will fail at changing behaviors and skills. According to Professor … [Read more...]