Last week, Daniel Mouqué and I gave our workshop again on how to use audience psychology to give inspiring presentations.
The workshop was hosted by the Imagination Club here in Brussels which runs a wonderful format.
The room (holding 15 people comfortably) resembled more a living than a meeting room: no desks, only sofas and comfy chairs. It has no air condition but windows that you can actually open and Jeffrey and Andy of the Imagination Club organize a little buffet with snacks that people can grab something from at any moment.
The room that we used (without the tables)
All of that made a big difference. Daniel and I got great participation because the environment put us all into the right mood. It’s something I experience again and again: the environment has a huge effect.
Notably, the Imagination Club ticks three boxes that we all should tick all the time:
- Don’t take any old room: choose a room that is pleasant and different and designed to make people feel at ease. If the weather is good, consider having the workshop in a garden. I’ve done that, it’s magical.
- Windows are a must: daylight and fresh air make such a big difference that I wouldn’t easily compromise on this.
- Move the chairs: many rooms are set up like a class room. Why? An open (or U-shaped) arrangement is almost always more effective. And do you really need the tables? They build a barrier that hinders participation. In short, don’t just go with the seating arrangement that you find.
Or, if you are in Brussels, simply book the T-Room that the Imagination Club uses at Timesmore. Brussels-weather permitting, you could even use the wonderful garden.
Sunflower photo by Cindy Bonfini-Hotlosz on Unsplash