Today, most conference audiences would prefer to engage in one-on-one peer-to-peer discussions than listen to another panel or lecture.
It is also clear that employers today place more emphasis on securing employees that are good at engaging others in face-to-face interactions to problem solve, work together and interpret data. Ultimately, peer learning is highly valued and needed in the 21st Century.
Transitioning From All Lectures To A Mix Of Lecture And Discussions
Many conference organizers and speakers agree that they would like to include more peer storytelling and story sharing in their sessions. However, they often don’t know where to start.
Start by finding three to five stopping places within the normal lecture to allow for two- to five-minutes of peer to peer discussion. If speakers would start here, their presentation effectiveness would increase dramatically.
While many presenters agree that group talk during their presentation is necessary, they often state that they don’t know what type of questions to ask.
Generic Peer To Peer Discussion Questions
Here are some generic questions you can use to spark your peer discussions.
- What reactions do you have to what has been shared so far?
- What does this mean to you and your job?
- Do you agree with the presenter/panelist? Why or why not?
- What do you need before you can implement what the speaker recommends?
- What concerns you most about what the speaker just said?
- What do you think of this idea? Why?
- How would you apply this at your job?
- What obstacles are keeping you from doing this?
- What would it take to make this happen in your office?
- What is the biggest barrier standing in your way to implement what the speaker just discussed?
- What’s the one thing that sticks with you from this session so far?
- What are you going to do differently as a result of what you just heard?
- What one thing can you take away to apply to your job?
Need More Discussion Research?
Here are a few past posts that discuss lectures and peer learning in more detail:
What are some other questions to use for peer discussion and reflection? What tips have you learned when starting peer discussions?