Give Your Attendees’ Brains a Break, Not a Workout
IS OFFERING A PACKED PROGRAM SCHEDULE YOUR BEST WAY TO DEMONSTRATE ROI FOR YOUR ATTENDEES?
Is offering a packed program schedule — tracks upon tracks, multiple sessions held at the same time, and with one on top of the next so there’s little time for breaks — your best way to demonstrate roi for your attendees?
You may think that you are giving participants the widest possible choice in terms of what they want to learn, but two Convening Leaders 2019 session speakers shared why that kind of program actually detracts from the learning experience.
Overscheduling drains your brain, said Dee O’Neill, MS, LPC, BCN, head of executive and corporate programs at the Brain Performance Institute at the Center for BrainHealth, under the umbrella of The University of Texas at Dallas. At her session, “Using Neuroscience to Enrich Storytelling,” O’Neill discussed what neuroscience researchers have learned about the brain’s executive or frontal lobe, which oversees our complex problem solving, innovative thinking, emotional intelligence, mental flexibility, judgment, and decision-making functions.
Those are the cognitive functions we want to spark at our conferences. “It is our brain’s CEO, or ‘Cognitive Executive Officer,’” O’Neill said. Once you understand the brain’s chemistry, you can learn what drives and drains it, she said.
The other three things that drain your brain? Feeling unproductive, deep-thought deprived, and cruising on autopilot. “The culprit is information overload and there are strategies to combat each,” she said.
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Published on PCMA March 7, 2019