August 2015

Avoid The Zombie Zone: Putting The Learning Research To Work In Your Conference

Join Jeff Hurt

August 18 
2 p.m. eastern

Scientific Proof for 
Conference Education Continuous Improvement
Our team at Velvet Chainsaw is a bit weird! We all have a passion for life-long learning. Since you're reading this, you're probably weird that way too. One of the topics that has enamored us most is brain or neuroscience. Conference improvement plans can be significantly inspired by the latest and greatest hard evidence.  
, brain-science has debunked quite a few popular learning theories like right vs. left brain or VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic) learners. The science has proven that for learning to stick it must be active, social and effortful (not effortless). If you're trying to breathe new life into your conference education, brain-science provides the evidence needed to get the buy-in for education committees or departments change initiatives.
This month's newsletter provides a primer on how and why brain-science findings can be applied to your education program and sessions.
In July, we began offering webinars for our clients, blog and newsletter subscribers. These are promotion free learning opportunities. Our next one will be at 2:00 PM EST on Tuesday August 18th. The webinar will be on 21st Century Brain Savvy Leadership presented by Jeff Hurt. If you're interested in participating, click here to review and/or register.

The fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience study how the brain takes in, stores, retrieves and applies information. Cognitive scientists and educators are learning new ways to apply this information. It's that application that has lead to these learning trumps. A learning trump card is one that reigns over more traditional and established education practices. When one strategy trumps another, it means that it is a better and more influential way of learning.  
From scheduling pre-conference prep calls to reviewing and editing PowerPoint slides, meeting planners invest plenty of time and energy into making sure each speaker on the program has the right tools for a successful presentation. However, there is one essential component that can make the difference between just another presentation and a memorable experience with actionable takeaways. It's the 10-Minute Rule...
anchor3The Art Of Changing The Attendees' Brain: Conference Style
Usually our view of conference education is an expert at the front of the room doling out their knowledge through witty repartee. The speaker stands on a stage, behind a podium, towering above the audience as if dispensing expertise from on high. Conference organizers and speakers view the audience as those that need the expert's help. The experts then hand their assistance down to the attendees through their spoken word. This has been the model for years. It's the way we were taught in school. It's practiced in meetings across the globe. It's usually the only way we know how to provide instruction and education.

Whether you're a planner, a CEO, a supplier or whether you fill some other role, think back to the very first conference for which you selected/hired a speaker. Maybe it was for an association event, a community event or some other program altogether. In my role as education director for a state trade association, I remember early in my career my priorities for hiring a speaker: cost, availability and topic (often in that order).   
Scott H. Young brings into focus Harvard educated cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham's latest on how to learn and teach better. Young breaks down the book's principles that can work in your next conference from number one - Factual knowledge precedes skill; to number 7 - Intelligence can be changed through sustained hard work.