At my company’s international learning events we held sessions called ‘Content Connect’ where small groups of people would interact with a subject matter expert to better understand how a topic related to them and their world.
The presenters had full use of flip charts, white boards, scribes and PowerPoint slides to bring their content to life. These sessions took place in an atrium space with people seated in meeting chairs arranged in a semi-circle. They worked OK but didn’t turn out to be the success we had hoped for.
Without changing the objective, we decided to do the same sessions with the same experts and repackage them as ‘Fireside Chats’. The experts are not allowed any slides or other teaching aids (this took more preparation).
The chats take place in an informal lounge environment with couches and comfy chairs. Because they are held in more intimate spaces with fewer seats, some people even have to sit on the floor or stand at the back.
The result – unanimous rave reviews from the participants! This more informal ‘sharing’ experience allows them to connect with the experts, the content and each other in a completely different way resulting in more rich learning experience!
What types of environment do you find to be the most effective for your learning?