Making sense(s) of adult learning

I recently received this guest blog from author and speaker Kare Anderson:

Regarding Jeffrey Caufaude's apt suggestions on balancing content and adult education needs, let me amplify: come back to our senses...all of them, and involve them in the experience.

Not only must there be more interaction, clarity, and time for reflection, but there must be more varied pace and variety in presentation style and forms of interaction.

The memory is in the motion itself. People feel and remember more when in motion. Get them involved in a variety of ways.

Participants (yes! participants) must literally be moved through the experience with a repeated main theme, like a Greek Chorus, evoked with a vivid tag line, motto, and slogan to anchor the idea in their minds. Invite them to give collective, individual, and small-group feedback. The speaker must prove that she/he has heard their input and adapted and responded to it. The younger the audience or the higher the people are on their organization's chart, the more crucial this is today.

Evoke more of the senses. At an Aveda conference I had the honor of having the three stages of their keynote scented with complementary smells to match the themes of each part of the talk. This was orchestrated by AromaSys president, Mark Peltier with a system that avoids allergic reactions. That's why it is used in the Bellagio and 18 other Las Vegas hotels.

The bottom line is that speakers should "storyboard" the multi-sensory moments of their presentation to bring the audience together around the topic and make a more meaningful experience. AND meeting planners could more closely storyboard the overall meeting in the same way. Malcomb Gladwell's January 2005 book, Blink, will offer complementary insights on this topic.

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