Many conference organizers are actively seeking and experimenting new learning formats and innovative room sets. Both are worthwhile quests to improve conference learning and participant value. If this describes your organization, strike while the iron is hot and discontinue mandating usage of your conference’s PowerPoint template. The brand police at your company won’t like this idea and will fight it tooth and nail. Use these talking points to win that discussion and implement the … [Read more...]
Exposing Your Mental Model For Conference Education
Most conference organizers are not even aware of the mental models that drive their decisions—especially when it comes to conference education. Rarely do we openly examine or actively process our mental models. We just act. So those beliefs continue to govern our thoughts and decisions, without our awareness or knowledge. As a conference organizer, your primary task should be to develop appropriate and accurate mental models. That means your current thinking may need to change. Your … [Read more...]
Too Many Technical Presentations Suffer From POOH!
Sutro Baths: Vertical Poop by Andy Morris Your conference’s technical presentations suffer from POOH*! “Huh?” you ask. “What are you talking about?” Too often, and I mean way too often, our conferences are full of technical presentations that offer nothing more than POOH! For some reason, we falsely believe that technical presentations don’t have to follow good adult learning strategies. But that’s totally wrong! The Truth About POOH! Consider the following: Make up your bottom hole … [Read more...]
Your Conference Attendees Utterly Deep Driving Need To Share Experiences
My sister likes to talk! Saying she like to talk is an understatement. I don’t think she ever stops talking except when she sleeps. She is not that much different from my father. He likes to talk and talk and talk. And a couple of my very close friends are like that too. They all like to talk about their experiences—good and bad. And after some reflection, I guess I like talking about myself too. I’m doing it right now in this blog post. Sharing Information Gets Us High There is a … [Read more...]
Conference Education’s Dirty Little Secret
All conference education has a dirty little secret. And it’s bigger and dirtier than most. The big skeleton in the conference closet is that most attendees will forget the majority of what they hear during the event. The current design of the education session sabotages your learning and retention. Let’s Waste The Company’s Money No one says, “Hey, let’s spend a lot of money and time to attend a conference and participate in education sessions that we will never remember. Or even … [Read more...]
Speakers: Covering Content Actually Obscures Understanding
Education is one way to improve ourselves personally and professionally. Whenever we find ourselves lacking knowledge, understanding or skills for a specific job task, we take a class. Or attend a conference. Or participate in a webinar. Or read a book. Sounds really simple. Right? Well, it’s not. The challenge with most education is our belief that learning something we don’t know requires an expert (the speaker) or another means (books, online, computers). The Watch Analogy Note: I … [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...]
Are Your Conference Speakers Tickling Ears Or Transforming Lives?
Several months ago, a well-known established professional speaker chided me publicly in Facebook because of a post I wrote about how our brains thrive on images. This speaker said that he didn’t need to add visuals to his presentations because all of his clients were extremely satisfied with his keynote presentations. And he had been doing his presentations without images or PPT for years successfully. Sound familiar? I laughed when I read this speaker’s public denouncement of my post. … [Read more...]
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