Bring Your Own Brain – Event Design

One of Dr. Estes most popular keynote speeches to Educators, Businesses and Non-Profits is the BYOB (Bring Your Own Brain): Learning to Teach and Transform keynote speech.

This keynote speech and presentation has been sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Dallas Chapter and the Area Agency on Aging of Texoma. The Texoma area includes North Central Texas, including Sherman, Denison, Pottsboro, Whitesboro, Gainesville, Bonham, Van Alstyne, Howe and South Central Oklahoma including Durant, Ada, Paul’s Valley, Armore and the surrounding areas in proximity to Lake Texoma.  The population is this area is statistically ‘older’ proportionately and is one of the ‘oldest’ counties in Texas.

One of the key elements of this presentation is Event Design. This is an excerpt of that portion of the keynote speech:

Event Design

Purpose: To design meetings and learning experiences so that the participants’ needs and concerns are used as the foundations for the interaction. This perspective tends to accelerate and deepen the changes and learning process.

Step #1: Stand in the shoes of the participants.

From their perspective, determine what needs, concerns, hopes, experiences and burning questions they will bring with them as they walk in the door. Also from their perspective, define what will make the vent meaningful, impactful and memorable. Meetings, workshops and conferences need to assess, accept and pace the expectations of the audience.

Step #2: Stand in the shoes of the larger system – the organization.

To develop the impact and outcomes, create a picture of how the system will be better in two or three months as a result of this event. Determine systems issues — how this event is linked to other key events, what overarching goals it contributes to and how other similar events have produced impact in the past.

Step #3: Define the content “chunks” — the topics — the gum.

Make sure that topics reflect the concerns and questions of the participants identified in Step #1. Remember that the event cannot be too heavy on content if change is expected. Remember that lecture/presentation will normally result in 3% maximum behavior shift. People need time to interact with the topic. If it’s an hour event, half of it needs to be devoted to participant interaction to get the percentage of change up to 33%.

Step #4: Design interesting ways for learning interaction — the “chewing.”

Use a variety of pair/traid conversation pauses to increase the amount of interaction about the topics. Quick case studies and problem solving exercises around their concerns will increase their engagements. Develop contingencies.

Step #5: Post a Public Agenda Map with Outcomes to keep everyone oriented.

Step #6: Watch and listen! Plug in contingencies based upon what you see in the group!

Dr. Estes not only coaches these lessons, she delivers!

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