When you present, your audience wants to feel something. So give them what they want!

In his book Brain Rules, John Medina writes, “Emotionally arousing events tend to be better remembered than neutral events.” A key goal, then, is to tap into the audience’s emotion and try to stir up feelings that will make their learning experience memorable.

What happens if you don’t feel like you’re able to tap into your audience’s emotions? How then can you help them to feel something?

Chris Ernst from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently offered a solution to this quandary.

keynote-cards

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Sometimes you just have to be silly

silly

I looked on in horror as the facilitator arched her back, lifted her shoulders, raised her arms as if she had claws, opened her mouth and let out something resembling a screech.

I was at the LINGOs Global Learning Forum, attending Kristin Hibler‘s session on “L&D Applications of Improv”, and one at a time we were all supposed to copy what the facilitator had just done.

Nope. Uh-uh. Continue reading

Is it really a train the “trainer” session? Or is it a train the “SME” session?

sme-vs-trainer

Last week I was talking with a colleague who made a distinction between what she perceives her team as doing compared to what some other teams do. She said: “We really view our team as educators, while there are other teams that get out into the field and don’t even care about who the audience is, they simply have a slide deck and they’re going to walk the audience through the slide deck. We call them presenters, as opposed to educators.”

I normally don’t get too caught up in language and vocabulary and semantics, but this was an important point. Perhaps more importantly, this was coming from an operational manager, not someone in the L&D department. This wasn’t just “inside baseball” talk among training geeks. Continue reading

If you can’t draw it, you don’t understand it

Stick Figure

There’s a school of thought that says: if you can’t draw it, you don’t understand it.

This was a concept that was introduced to me about 7 or 8 years ago during a strategic planning session in which the facilitator asked us to draw an intractable problem we were looking to solve. We couldn’t use words, only images (even if only stick figures).

I found it was a very powerful exercise, Continue reading