Thursday, July 29, 2010

Training "Filler" Ideas

Today I walked a handful of Minnesota FCCLA advisors through tips and strategies on how to host an awesome regional leadership conference. One question that come up from the group was...

"What do you do if you are ahead of schedule or a speaker is running late and you need to fill some space in your agenda?"

Basically, they were looking for some new crowd involvement ideas their officers could lead. Something different than singing "camp songs" or doing the Cupid Shuffle. The reason for having something is to keep the crowd busy and possibly enhance the conference experience. An idle high school crowd is a rowdy high school crowd. Here are a few ideas I use in these moments:

1. Name That Tune. (5 minutes)
Get everyone standing in teams of 4-6 people. Tell them they are competing against the other teams in the room to see which team can get the most right. Then play either ten TV/movie theme songs or just ten CPP (Clean, Powerful, Positive) popular songs. Only play 10-15 seconds of each. After you are done find out how many the teams got right.

2. Switch Seats. (5 minutes)
Have everyone select a partner from their school that they will go on a mission with. Tell them when the music starts, they go with their partner to find a new seat in the room. The catch is when they sit down the people sitting to their left and right get to be from a different school. Once they are seated they learn three pieces of information from their new "friends" to their left and right. You can pick whatever you want these three things to be: name, school, favorite hobby, favorite band, favorite fast food restaurant, etc.

3. Meet New People. (5-10 minutes)
Ask everyone to stand. When the music starts your job is to meet as many new people (I.e. - not from your school) in the room a possible. Bonus points for meeting an advisor. Keep track of your points (1 per new person. 2 per advisor.) Give a prize to a few people that have the most points.

4. Dance Off. (5-10 minutes)
Have each school pick (or they can self-volunteer) 3-5 dancers that will come on stage and represent their school in a Dance Off. Pick a few advisors to be the judges. Then play 60-second snippets of Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, YMCA, the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, Apache (Jump On It), etc. You can allow more dancers per school if you would like. The judges vote on both the dancing as well as the amount of support (claps, yelling, cheers, etc.) each school gives their dancers.

5. True of False. (5-10 minutes)
Get everyone standing in teams of 4-6 people. Tell them they are competing against all the other teams in the room. Then read off 10-15 true or false trivia questions. Make them interesting and "not-widely-known." Here are a few we use:

1. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our ears and nose never stop growing. T

2. In every episode of Seinfeld, Spiderman is always seen? F. It's Superman.

3. The words orange, month, silver and purple have something in common. T. They don't rhyme with anything.

4. Babies are born with kneecaps. F. They don’t appear until 2-6 years of age.

5. The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan. T

6. Elephants are the only animal that can’t jump. T

7. A polar bear’s hair is white. F. It's clear. It's skin is white.

8. On average, right-handed people live 9 years longer than left-handed people. T

9. The Earth is the only planet that rotates clockwise? F. It's Venus.

10. Walt Disney was afraid of mice. T

- Posted from my iPhone on tour in Minnesota.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unload and Throw

Speaking to a group is not a diplomatic process. It is largely a one-way pipeline of information and emotion. The most popular and impact-filled presenters follow the advice of my good friend (and phenomenal pastor/communicator) Justin Beadles' dad to his son regarding speaking...

"Justin, when you present in front of a group, unload both guns on 'em and then throw the gun!"

Be bold. Be grace-filled, but be bold. Leave it all on the table.

"Make an impact, not just an impression." Rick Rigsby

- Posted using my iPhone on tour in Minnesota.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to Maximize a Conference Experience

John Maxwell, the famous leadership author and teacher, tells us there are three things we must do to grow as leaders:

1. Surround yourself with the right people.
2. Consume the right media.
3. Attend the right conferences.

When you attend conferences, to make the most of them, follow these five guidelines.

1. Be child-like. This doesn't mean throw a tantrum if the room is too cold. It means ask questions. Lots of them. Don't let your pride or reputation or position keep you from raising that hand and getting clarity, more information or better information.

2. Take organized notes. If you aren't writing, you aren't learning. But don't just write to recall. Write with organization. Make notes of what needs to be delegated, acted upon immediately, filed for later, etc. This will help your post-conference actions take flight quicker and more efficiently.

3. Offer solutions, advice and suggestions in a CVS format. Concrete. Visual. Simple. It is important to not only add value where you can, but to be clear with your thoughts.

4. Maximize gap time. The official sessions and breakouts will be valuable learning environments, but the real magical sharing times happen early in the morning, at meals and during breaks. Make the most of them.

5. Seek out answers. If possible, go to conference with specific questions and challenges you are looking to resolve. Then hunt to find experts, speakers, exhibitors and attendees who might just have the answers you are looking for.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone