At the end of last Thursday’s Non-Boring Virtual Meetings Learning Lab, I asked everyone what their #1 top takeaway from our time together was, and here’s a sampling of what people said:
“The importance of interspersing content with connection activities.”
“The concept of being intentional about wide and or deep connections…”
“There are fresh ways to connect people that are more meaningful”
“#1 = networking! (I’m as surprised as you are!)”
“I like the idea of using break out rooms for quick short connections amongst attendees”
Do you detect a theme here?
You may have heard the phrase “Content is King,” but when it comes to bringing people together in real time, whether it’s for a training, a conference, or a company all hands, I beg to differ.
If you’ve been using “Content is King” as a mantra, I strongly suggest you swap it out with a new one:
Connection before content.
Sure, content is important—we have information to share, after all.
But no matter how important your content is, it’s not a good enough reason to pull people away from whatever else they would be doing and put them in a room together—virtual or otherwise.
In fact, I posit that the only reason to bring people together in real time is for CONNECTION.
If you’re not going to connect, if all you’re going to do is lecture or otherwise deliver content, you might as well send a video. Or a PDF.
This may, in fact, be the #1 reason why so many virtual meetings are so unrelentingly boring.
Well-intentioned folks, with “Content is King” as their mantra, design a passive experience of content-consumption for their attendees.
Now, passive content-consumption can be fun, there’s no doubt!
I love watching Netflix as much as the next person.
And Apple sure does a great job with their product launches.
But let me ask you, do you really have the kind of production values at your disposal of an Apple, or a Netflix series?
And is that really the experience you want your participants to have: passive consumption? (I doubt it, especially if you’re a learning professional, or you’re trying to develop a team or foster a culture.)
So before you schedule that meeting, before you design that training, before you create that virtual conference, ask yourself:
Is this just a content download? Or is this an opportunity for connection?
If it’s a content download, skip the gathering, and just send a video. so folks can consume the content on their own time. Trust me, your people will thank you.
However, if there’s an opportunity for connection, juice that for all it’s worth.
My F.U.N. Method™ teaches new skills and behaviors through connection activities. So there’s no reason you have to choose between content and connection.
The best experience design does both: connection before content, and connection woven throughout the content, all the way through.
This is why virtual meetings, virtual trainings, virtual events of all kinds don’t have to be boring: they can be opportunities for genuine human connection, from start to finish.
Message me to chat about having me lead a virtual offsite for your team.