The Art Of Changing The Attendees’ Brain: Conference Style

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Usually our view of conference education is an expert at the front of the room doling out their knowledge through witty repartee. The speaker stands on a stage, behind a podium, towering above the audience as if dispensing expertise from on high. Conference organizers and speakers view the audience as those that need the expert’s help. The experts then hand their assistance down to the attendees through their spoken word. This has been the model for years. It’s the way we were taught in … [Read more...]

Helping Speakers Move From Dispensers Of Information To Facilitators Of Learning

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The greatest sign of success for a speaker is not a full room and positive smile-sheet summaries that only indicate attendees can successfully sit through long lectures. The greatest sign of success for a speaker is to be able to say, “The audience is now working on the content as if I did not exist!” (Paraphrase, Maria Montessori). Too many professional and industry speakers judge their success based on whether the client and the audience walked away with temporary cotton-candy feel good … [Read more...]

Overcoming These Six Barriers To Audience Resistance To Participation

Even when you’ve adequately communicated the transition from passive attendee to active participant, some audience members will still resist. You’re challenging their comfort zone of passively sitting in a lecture. You are now asking them to engage on a different level which requires being fully present and doing something. And you’re challenging their past school years. Six Common Attendee Complaints To Participation Here are six common attendee complaints (obstacles*) and suggestions for … [Read more...]

Why Speakers And Attendees Resist Participant-Centered Education

Once you as the conference organizer are convinced that you want to move your education to more learner centric approaches, with a focus on the attendee as participant and learner, you may discover that your speakers do not respond with the same zeal. In reality, speakers and attendees may resist the new approach both passively and openly in front of others. Change can be frightening and it's easier to keep things the way they've always been done. Change requires work and it's often stepping … [Read more...]