Meetings & Your Brain

Standing Tradition on Its Head

Can doing something backwards be the way to move forward?

Yep, says Convene contributor Jeffrey Cufaude. Turning traditions on their heads — often, but not always, by incorporating technology — can lead to better learning results and better meetings.

One case in point is high-school math teacher Karl Fisch, who stopped lecturing in class and instead uploaded lecture videos to YouTube. Students watched the videos at home, and Fisch, freed to be a hands-on coach, then used class time to answer student questions.

Conference organizers can use that same basic tactic, Cufaude suggests, by sharing podcasts or videos of keynote speakers well before meetings take place. Attendees can then submit questions about the content in advance, giving speakers the opportunity to fine-tune and focus their presentations to audiences.

Cufaude writes:

“Presenters could also post complete session outlines for people to react to in advance (via Tweets, online comments, or electronic surveying) or, if provided in wiki format, to modify based on their needs or interests.”

How can anything that leads to attendees getting more value out of conference sessions be a bad idea?

For more of Cufaude’s suggestions about how to harness the “flip effect,” read the full column here.

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.