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    « Space matters | Main | Collaborate + Improvise = Survival »
    Wednesday
    Mar132013

    Please don't throw lollies

    Please don't throw lollies. I can walk over and pick them up out of the plastic packet all by myself. Look, watch me, I can.

    *Cringe*  I was in a training session last week – or perhaps that should read, ‘boring presentation’ by a presenter who introduced the topic by saying ‘Now I hope you all don’t ‘fall asleep’ during this!’

    So there we were, looking forward to a boring presentation and the opportunity of falling asleep. Before the presenter spoke, she held up a large bargain bulk bag of lollies and sang in Mary Poppins style “I have lolllliiiieeeeeesssss!”

    “I’ve got bribes!’ she further explained! “This will keep you awake!”

    As if a bag of lollies is going to make my interest levels peak through 32 mind-numbing PowerPoint slides in a darkened room. What did peak was my blood sugar level, just by looking at the pink and yellow shapes inside the bag.

    Why isn’t she trying to make that presentation more interesting, engaging and helpful? Why isn’t it more palatable than the cheap lollies?

    She delivered the presentation. She never needed the lollies. It cheapened the presentation; it lowered the professionalism and it made us feel like we needed to listen or we’d be very naughty. We are adults you know. So are you, presenter.

    Some people I have consulted and worked with argue that you need damn good coffee and pastries to get people to some presentations. But surely you don’t need to throw lolllies at us when we look bored!

    ‘Oh but it’s FUN!’ shouted Amy from the Learning and Design team. ‘Lighten up! It’s fun! You’re too serious!’

    It wasn’t fun for Gavin from Accounts who sat in the accident and emergency department waiting room with his eye bleeding out of its socket. No, Gavin wasn’t laughing when a bullet hard lemon barley sugar with kiddy wrap went flying through his left eye. The visual, yes that’s a laugh. The Safety Team said ‘No more throwing lollies. You may hand them around.’

    If you want your session, meeting, presentation or training to be fun you don’t need to throw lollies at me or anyone else. What you do need to do is design the session with engaging activities, designed for the purpose, designed for the people in the room. They’re called an audience. Even better when you call them ‘participants’.

    What are you doing to make your meetings, conversations, workshops and learning experiences creative, collaborative, engaging and transformative?

     

    *Gavin isn’t his real name. And he didn’t need to go to Accident and Emergency either. He’s ok. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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