Let's talk 'live'.
We touched upon a few live event concepts in a previous article - and, because we know the power that comes from running live exchanges, we’d like to tug on the string just a little more.
Participating and feeling truly engaged at a live event can be tricky for some people. Some people find themselves desperately wanting to share thoughts, feedback, or input - yet dreading being called upon and given the floor. Others...not so much. This can create a very lopsided dynamic: the same handful of people driving the conversation amid a silent majority.
Kicking off an event with an exchange can be an invaluable way of engaging everyone in the room and giving them a platform wherein they feel both safe in sharing openly, and that their input is on a level playing field with everyone else’s. Heck, we’ve seen it completely change the energy in the room in the span of the first five to ten minutes of the event - before people are even through with the continental breakfast.
Here’s how we do it:
1. Run an exchange on a key topic that you want to dig into during the session.
Here are few examples of great questions recently used by our customers with the Standard tool:
Culture - What are some key principles we need to live by so people see us and our organization the way we want to be seen?
Strategic Planning - What macro-level, "big picture" issues do you think we need to consider in order to advance our work?
Reflection - What are some key topics from today that you think would be beneficial for us to explore further?
Check out our Use Cases for more question ideas.
2. Have everyone participate independently.
Let people share their thoughts, and then give them another few minutes to go through and rate thoughts based on importance to them. This is where the magic happens - and the results can be very unexpected. The most vocal opinion isn’t always going to be the top thought.
3. Partner to discuss the results. What’s interesting about them?
Have people pair up with the person sitting next to them to talk about the top five to ten thoughts in the exchange, and the insights (or perhaps even surprises) about them. What’s of interest? What are the takeaways?
4. Ask for a few brave souls to share some of the things they heard or learned.
This is where our trickle-up method culminates in key insights and takeaways being shared with the entire room. Even if it’s the same few that keep sharing with the larger group, the important thing is that every voice is being considered and meaningful conversations are taking place.
Check out how our own CEO Dave MacLeod put this into practice at the OPEX Exchange. (We linked straight to the relevant part of his talk - but please do check out the entire thing. Trust us, it’s worth the watch.)