Your Meetings Will Change
“Sessions need to move from monologue to dialog to polylogue, where participants are talking together in a group. Speakers, then, become facilitators of learning. That’s not a comfortable skill for a lot of speakers. For them, this is a growing-edge skill…it is the skill of the future.” – Northstar Travel Group’s Independent Planner Education Conference/2017.
Things are changing in the business of meetings. In Fast Company magazine, veteran speaking expert Nancy Duarte predicts that presentations will become ever more interactive. “People are losing their patience with lectures, Duarte said. “Instead, they want to have conversations with speakers.”
At a business convention in Canada last week, I was one of four keynote speakers. Three of us got our audiences fully engaged as participants. The meeting planner told me afterward that their participant feedback is overwhelmingly in favor of wanting more interaction in the keynote sessions.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely still a place for the speaker who does all the talking and can inspire, motivate, and inform an audience with a fabulous one-way presentation.
But the days of people spending six or more hours a day sitting in straight rows in total silence listening to lectures are slowly coming to an end. A live meeting is, in many ways, no different than a website. People want to engage and interact, whether it’s online or in a meeting. We are shifting from having “attendees” to having “participants,” and more meetings everyday are moving in that direction.
Think of it this way – can you imagine anyone planning a meeting today and saying “No thank you. We don’t want our people actively engaged or participating. We want them to just sit there, be quiet, and listen to speeches all day.”