I did a Learning and Development Roundtable on How to really engage people for lasting listening, light-hearted learning, can-do, collaboration, and clever creativity. It was based on member requests, as everyone is looking for ways to engage people.
And by engage I mean …
- getting people interested, participating, collaborating, listening, etc.
- facilitating meetings, teaching workshops, etc., that aren’t boring
- people remembering your content, and walking away feeling like it was time well spent
- you looking like the rockstar you are
- you getting valuable input from the people you’ve been working with
Engagement is a common goal. Some might say, even a far-fetched, hard-to-reach goal.
I’m here to tell you that you can make even the most technical, boring, ‘heavy’ content engaging and interesting.
One resource is to use micro-engagements, which are tiny, quick, little activities that get people paying attention and engaged.
One such example is bouncy balls.
Bouncy balls was initially designed to help primary school teachers quieten a noisy classroom, however I’ve used them in many other ways.
But first off, what are bouncy balls?
Bouncy balls is a website that tracks noise in the environment (including online meetings!) and displays that noise using bubbles, bouncy balls, emoticons, and more.
The quieter the noise, the lower the balls are. Bubbles work the opposite, so the quieter the room is, the more the bubbles float. The noisier the room is, the higher the balls bounce (or, the lower the bubbles sink).
How have I (and how can you) use bouncy balls?
- I was facilitating a retreat in Mogadishu, Somalia, and it was time for small groups to make presentations to the large group. I told them ahead of time that the group would vote on the best one. We used bouncy balls to gauge the winner. The louder the room clapped for a particular group, the higher the balls bounced. The group with the highest bouncing balls won.
- Recently I celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Learning and Development Roundtable. During our time together we celebrated. Everyone unmuted and hooted and hollered in celebration of ten years of Roundtables …. and the balls bounced accordingly.
- I haven’t tried this one yet, but I plan to. So far, the above ideas are based on a group making a lot of noise. If your group is a bit rambunctious, and you need to get their attention, you could challenge them to not move the balls or bubbles (e.g. to be quiet). Easy, peasy, and not to mention engaging.
Like what you've found so far? To learn more, we recommend checking out our Course, "Ban Boring Online Meetings."Learn More >
I wish you quiet, calm bubbles when you need them and animated, raucous bubbles when you need some energy and excitement. Either way, enjoy!
Now go on and learn, laugh, and lead.
- Check out the Bouncing Balls site here (make sure your mic is on to make it work).
- Don’t get stuck doing the same ol’ online engagement with little success. Bust out and try some new moves, unlike this dog.
- Check out my “Ban Boring Online Meeting: a quick-start, step-by-step approach to making your online meetings engaging, appealing, and effective” to go beyond bubbles and amp up engagement in your online meetings.
It’s Learning and Development Roundtable time!
Learn more about the March 16th Roundtable: Mindset – the number one skill you didn’t know you needed (seriously).
Or, sign up straight away.
Is your organization and/or team interested in doing online, on-demand training courses? I’m doing some research, and I’d love to chat. Please feel free to reach out to me.
I’m standing by all ears.