I just attended ISPI’s Skillcast on Increasing Interactivity in Webcasts with Thiagi, mine and many others favorite educative mentor.

He went over his basics- let the inmates run the asylum, look for ways to collaborate instead of compete and avoid jumping to conclusions. And always contradict yourself, but don’t ever disagree.

Some tips from the webinar:

Drawing on his improv philosophy of training, here are his points on the “Yes!” attitude:

  • Trust participants
  • Accept everything
  • Keep eyes on the prize
  • Treat useful and useless inputs the same way
  • Incorporate all relevant inputs
  • Modify irrelevant inputs & incorporate them

He demonstrated this process with a card trick bywhich he leads the volunteer to the card he wants her to pick and magically reveals “her” choice.

He next asked participants to answer a question, then predict the most popular answers. What was the question?

Why do most webinars suck?

…. somewhere around this point I got called away from my desk and grabbed an apple…

Came back to discussion about giving a lesson on stereotyping through the diversion tactics of magic.

He ended with a very interesting exercise where he was showing 3 numbers on the screen then asked participants to submit a set of numbers that would be like this 3. He was using a term to say what it was, but who can understand him? “Jovel” juvel” something like that.

Examples he displayed:

So, he says- everyone submit a jovel or juvel. He probably explained more at the beginning but I had gotten distracted by texting on my I-phone.

I just submitted my husband’s favorite number, my favorite number and the first one that came to mind. 11-37-42

The host read off several submissions… 1-2-3, 2-4-5, 3-6-7
Then he said, and someone submitted this one which is wrong… 11-37-42

And Thiagi said, Wait, it is right it is a “jo*uhl” Everyone thinks they have detected a pattern when they see the examples I presented n-n*2-n*2+1. So they submit what they think is a right answer.

But actually, he says, if you want to really test a theory, then you should submit something different. Because actually, a “jo*uhl” is just any 3 integers listed in ascending order.

Wish I could say I was “pushing the limits” with my submission, but I was just not paying very good attention. I would certainly have patted myself on the back for recognizing the pattern and submitted one to match had I been listening.

Take away… good results can come from barely listening to Thiagi.