Enhance Productivity and Efficiency with Stephen’s Innovation Insights

Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro


It seems as though everyone is touting their virtual prowess these days. Everyone boasts that their technology is better than everyone else’s:

  • “I use a mirrorless DSLR to broadcast crisp video.”
  • “I use OBS (or Ecamm Live or Wirecast) to do wild animations and overlays.”
  • “I use a 5-point lighting system with green screen and dozens of high-res virtual backgrounds.”
  • “I have a $1,000 small diaphragm overhead microphone to provide the ultimate audio.”
  • “I have 4 different studios in my house, with multiple cameras, switchers, and the latest high-tech thingamabobs.”

If you want your audience to feel like they are watching Saturday Night Live, then all of these could be important.

But do you want your audience to simply be watching a TV show? Or do you want them learning, engaging, and applying?

Although I have some cool technology, that’s not my differentiator.

My content and the process I use to engage people is my differentiator.

Four Steps that Drive Results

Here are 4 steps that I use for virtual and in-person experiences:

  1. Presentation: Share content, stories, ideas, and frameworks. This is the standard materials we do for keynotes. This can be done live or via a pre-recorded video. It can be viewed prior to the event (asynchronously) or it can be viewed live with everyone watching at the same time (synchronously)
  2. hot seat demonstration virtualDemonstration: Now it is time to show how the material is used. I like to do hot seats. For my work, I use my “25 Lenses” (from my Invisible Solutions book) real-time to solve someone’s problem. I get one person from the audience to share a problem. I then show the lenses on the screen and circle them as I discuss how I would use them (see screenshot from a hot seat session). This allows everyone to see how to use the frameworks, tools, and concepts.
  3. Application: Now that everyone has seen the content demonstrated, it is now time for the audience to try it out for themselves. We send people into breakout rooms where everyone uses the 25 lenses to solve (or more accurately, reframe) their own problems. They collaborate and gain new insights. Sometimes we will give them access to custom developed tools we created to help them go even deeper into the content. 
  4. Reflection: We bring everyone back to reflect on what worked and where they struggled. We talk about how they can continue to apply the lenses in the future. In some cases we’ll create a competition or a set of actions we want people to take to continue the application and learning. The goal is to keep the content alive long after the event.

The Presentation Only Sets the Stage

When you use this approach, the “presentation” only sets the stage. Although it is necessary, in some respects it is the least valuable part of the process. Someone could watch your video and have a similar experience. People gain their deepest insights with steps 2 – 4.

And what is nice is this approach can be used with any size audience.

I use this process with both my in-person and virtual events. Although the approach is slightly different, the general concept is the same. 

This process creates deep learning, incredible engagement, and long-term business results.

I look forward to your comments and questions.

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