It’s no secret that traditional lecture-style educational sessions are no longer the most effective way to educate. But how do you overhaul outdated learning techniques for interactive and engaging sessions, especially when you’re working on a budget?
It starts with lots of pre-planning. Your conference teams, committees, speakers and anybody else who is working on your conference or meetings need to understand that you want to revolutionize the way you’re doing things and shake things up. This means you need to give very clear instructions to those you’re working with, as well as clear instructions on any call for papers that you might have. Adoption of new ways of doing things is never easy, so work to let your words paint a picture of what you are aiming to create. Hone in on how learning happens and list some innovative education techniques to invite presenters to select from for their format.
You need to know your audience and design learning that enhances specific career stages and learning needs. Novice attendees, for example, are looking for foundational education with a focus on the nuts and bolts. This format may benefit from more structure, with less concentration on participation. Meanwhile, participants in the prime of their career seek applied learning and keys for success in their professional development. The approach for this segment should therefore be highly interactive and extremely informative. For the sage, seasoned professionals, you need to offer highly technical and very detailed learning tracks that bring cutting-edge information and maximum immersion.
If you find that your meetings are still flatlining and you need to really breathe life into your education, I have three CPR resuscitation tips for you.
1. COMMIT TO CONVERSATION
Energize learning by highlighting experiences and inviting content and conversations that engage and create high-level interaction.
2. PITCH THE POWERPOINT
Bullet points and text do very little to invite engagement and conversation.
3. REINVENT, REVOLUTIONIZE AND REDESIGN
There is always room for improvement in your learning tracks and learning forms, but there is especially need for change when you see that they are not working. Think about multiple modes of designs for learning such as laser focused Ted Talks, ignite sessions or deep dives. Storytelling, the use of case studies, and roundtable discussions that create modern day think tanks invite participation and encourage peer learning. Don’t be afraid to pre-poll attendees to solicit their input.
Purposeful planning combined with imagination and creativity can certainly help you breathe life back into your meetings and educational sessions.