Brain Friendly Events – Boost Learning in Meetings

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Audiovisual technology has been used in meetings for a long time. We experience everything through our senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Our brain registers and responds to everything in our environment. “Learning increases when you add images to words, 83% of learning occurs visually”. In meetings, multisensory stimulation can help individuals to perceive – and retain – information better. Based on the book, Brain Rules, research suggests that approximately 83% of human learning occurs visually, 11% auditorily, 3.5% through our sense of smell, 1.5% through touch, and 1% through task. It is better to present information in words and pictures than solely in words.

Based on the book, Brain Rules, we wanted to share some thinking around presentations.  After 10 minutes audience attention steadily drops.  Keep talks to 20 minutes and then do something emotionally relevant to regain attention.  Author of Brain Rules, Dr. Medina suggests that you “Tell a relevant story, show a relevant video, do a relevant activity, etc.” Activities that get people moving are great because exercise boosts brain power.

One way to use PowerPoint incorrectly is to add too much text to slides.  Make sure the images you use match the topic. You will distract and decrease the learning potential if you add too many decorative visuals like clip art that doesn’t relate to the topic. Sounds are more effective than images for getting attention. Sounds can focus our attention and make learning more engaging. Try to keep outside noise from hallways or other rooms to a minimum.  Use music at your meetings to create a mood, transition between spaces and to generate emotions targeted at what you want them to feel.