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While I was flying to some training and before I fired up MT on the Zune, I started to read the Airline magazine (Alaskan) about making business conferences more memorable by staging theatrics. Some companies specialize in making a huge presentations for these conferences.

For example, they had a story about the huge production of the CEO fighting off ninjas (the competion) and throwing smoke grenades in front of the assembled company ala Mission Impossible. A minor example was the CEO of 800-Got Junk riding in on a camel to demonstrate that the company got over the "hump".

I'm all for motivation and themes but this seems a bit too much for my tastes. Does anyone else think this goes a bit overboard or seem like a waste of funds? Could this money be better spent elsewhere on the conference? or is this just my "D" barking

Last but not least, could Mark and Mike fight off Ninjas and succeed??

mauzenne's picture

Frankly, I could do without Ninjas. I've seen these theatrics, and like you, I roll my eyes and run the other way.

As far as taking Ninjas on ... well, maybe not by myself, but I DO own a martial arts academy. With a a few dozen of my black belts behind me, I could probably survive. ;-)

regards,
Mike

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="Bones870"]A minor example was the CEO of 800-Got Junk riding in on a camel to demonstrate that the company got over the "hump".

I'm all for motivation and themes but this seems a bit too much for my tastes. Does anyone else think this goes a bit overboard or seem like a waste of funds? Could this money be better spent elsewhere on the conference? or is this just my "D" barking[/quote]

Your examples fall under the categories "concreteness" and "unexpected" from the Heath brothers' book _Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die_. Whether the investment of funds is worthwhile depends entirely upon the value placed on creating a memorable event...and any future ROI from that memory.

Another example: I attended a seminar where the presenter handed out a cheap $.01 plastic frog to everyone following an exercise on "not leaping to conclusions." The plastic frog notion applies to the MT goal of focusing on *behaviors* rather than leaping to a conclusion about why someone is acting in a particular way. You don't know--so don't leap to a conclusion.

More Ideas That Stick: The Umbrella Story and The Juggling Koan

Consider reading _Made to Stick_. The ideas may help you when training to drive home a point and make it memorable. Yes you can go overboard (pun intended, Bones is in the Coast Guard if I recall) with such activities and properly applied the trainees remember.

Bones870's picture

[quote="tlhausmann"]Another example: I attended a seminar where the presenter handed out a cheap $.01 plastic frog to everyone following an exercise on "not leaping to conclusions." The plastic frog notion applies to the MT goal of focusing on *behaviors* rather than leaping to a conclusion about why someone is acting in a particular way. You don't know--so don't leap to a conclusion.[/quote]

I understand the principle. It's similar to Anchoring in the psychotherapy model or neuro-linguistic programming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring

I agree that the frog is a great way to demonstrate it, I can even tolerate the Camel one but the CEO rappelling down from the ceiling and fighting off ninjas to get a point across makes me roll my eyes. Everything in moderation.

Thanks for the info, I'll check out the book

Bones870's picture

[quote="mauzenne"]As far as taking Ninjas on ... well, maybe not by myself, but I DO own a martial arts academy. With a a few dozen of my black belts behind me, I could probably survive. ;-)[/quote]

I'd personally have the Black belts in front of me!! :D

Mark's picture

Stupid, wasteful, wrong-headed.

Mark

pmoriarty's picture

For me, content wins over style every day.

You don't see Steve Jobs fighting Ninjas or riding camels yet his keynote speeches are some of the most anticipated events for the technical community, even if you're not a Mac fan.