Remember, your meetings are aimed at human beings, so it makes sense to take account of the characteristics of the human brain. Hint: people do not respond well to being crammed into a room to listen to long powerpoint presentations. Enter Bo Kruger, meeting designer, facilitator, speaker and writer at Moving Minds to help us communicate with humans and move them. Here is an appetiser:
What 2 or 3 characteristics of the human brain should meeting planners bear in mind?
People learn most efficiently if the meeting and activities are meaningful. We want to build cathedrals, not cut stone.
People flourish and perform best if they experience at least three times as many positive emotions as negative. In most meetings the ratio is 2:1 or even 1:1, and participants are slightly depressed.
What meeting formats take into account these characteristics?
- Play and games are the easiest way to increase positive emotions and they do not require competition and rewards. The best games are fun whether you win or not and the activity is rewarding in itself.
- Movement energises the brain and increases learning and creativity. Research shows that to walk while you talk increases creativity by 60%. Moving bodies, moving minds.
- To engage positively with others is rewarding to everyone. Let’s forget the labelling of introverts and extroverts, it is a universal human need to connect.
Has acceptance for new formats increased?
It is difficult to break the theatre/powerpoint dictatorship. A lot of people would rather be boring than risk embarrassing themselves while on the floor, engaging with others. On the other hand, most learning and creativity – the best experiences – happen when you move away from your comfort zone. In my experience, after a while, people prefer to be engaged in new ways if the format is well designed and facilitated.
Bo Krüger is a writer, speaker and meeting designer. He is the co-creator of the Danish Meeting Design Concept Meetovation. Bo has designed and facilitated numerous meetings and training sessions on meeting design. Bo is the owner of Moving Minds and has a masters degree in education.