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Tag: engagement

04 Sep

How can panels and Q&A sessions become unquestionably better? The answer: With these 10 best practices

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings While panels and Q&As can be memorable meeting elements, they’re usually sub-optimized and predictable, short on insights and long on length, unmoored and formulaic. Wouldn’t you rather offer engaging dialogs, energetic interplay, tangible takeaways, friendly arguments, authentic debate and purposeful experiences with a sum greater than the parts? Your audiences would like that too. So, without question, I recommend these 10 best practices. FOR MORE POWERFUL PANELS: 1-Make sure everything about the panel—just like every element of your entire event—is designed and delivered from the audience’s point of view. While you will of course choose panelists because they have specific, valuable points of view, whatever the moderator asks and however panelists respond must be in service of the audience. For example, this point of view is in service of the panelist: “When I was President of BigTechCo’s retail division, we showed our clients how to integrate Internet of Things technology into existing business models faster than any other firm.” This comment is in service of the audience: “IoT is constantly evolving. The most important step you can take is to use a secure framework for building your sales plan. Here…

05 Jan

What if attendees remember nothing from your meetings?

Andrea Driessen is Chief Boredom Buster for No More Boring Meetings in Seattle, Washington. © Andrea Driessen 2017 Given the amount of time we spend surrounded by computers—at work, at home, during commutes and yes, in meetings—it’s natural to think we humans are a lot like Pentium chips. We believe we can keep adding data and everything will be automatically saved on the “hard drives” in our heads. If only. While the human brain is indeed powerful, it is not capable of remembering—much less recalling—all we try to cram into it. The meetings world is particularly vulnerable to this overload. Let’s take a closer look at what happens to our minds in meetings, explore how to boost recall and memory, and in the process, the impact of all our events. Most meetings are often overloaded with so much material that learning may be hurt more than it’s enhanced. In fact, attendees may not remember anything from our meetings. What do you remember from the last meeting you attended? If you recall only one element of this article, may it be this: Less is more. As Jeff Hurt, EVP of education and engagement at conference consultancy Velvet Chainsaw, explains: “Forgetting is…

21 Dec

Presents vs. Presence: Which will you give?

By Andrea Driessen, Copyright 2014 For most of us, the holidays are joyous, festive—and stressful. Overflowing with abundance—and distractions. Few would call this time of year a series of boring meetings! In a Season of Big Celebrations, we may actually long for an occasional shot of boredom. Or at least stillness! In the midst of it all, consider the greatest gift you may be able to give. It’s priceless—but has no cost—except your time and attention. The gift, in fact, IS your time and attention. The present IS your presence. During these time-starved days and harried schedules, our willingness to slow down for meaningful, eye-to-eye engagement with those we love is rare. May we take a few extra moments to listen intently to people around us. Let’s ask questions of depth that show we are sincerely interested and mentally in synch…rather than distracted by our “smart” phones or thinking about the next soiree. Our full attention—when tuned to others, and offered  freely to acknowledge someone’s else’s presence and gifts—is a precious present. Let me know what you notice in these moments of connection. Share how it feels to give this cost-free, priceless gift. May you both give and receive an…