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  • Lauralee Shapiro

If You Want To Inspire Your Attendees, Just Follow The Yellow Brick Road

“Never let credibility killers undermine the integrity of the experience.”  This was the best take away for me from a recent educational session on how to inspire your attendees at your meetings and conferences.  The speaker was Larry Mohl with the Global Institute for Inspiration (www.giinspiration.com).  Humans by nature are wired to be inspired; always looking for the good and positive.  I don’t wake up each day and think “today is going to be awful”.  I wake up and tell my self today is going to be a great day.  It may not be in the end but I start out being inspired.

As planners, it is our goal to set the stage to inspire our attendees. To do this successfully, there are 7 “Drivers of Inspiration” according to Mohl.

1. Vision – You must have a clear vision of what the outcome will be.

2. Progress – Whether it is a personal or professional skill, the attendee must walk away expressing that they have progressed in their competency of this skill because of the meeting.

3. Story – Tell a story and tell it well.

4. Affirmation – You must know ahead of time, what this is going to be.

5. Authenticity – Define the “why” and have it guide the entire process – before, during and after the meeting.

6. Credibility – This goes back to the opening quote above: Never let credibility killers undermine the integrity of the experience

7. Servant Leadership – You need to serve other people’s needs and wants. The participant should be the #1 priority; they are the true stake holder.

So, how do you bring this all together to inspire your attendees  We witnessed this by watching an 8 minute abbreviated version of the Wizard of Oz.  It went like this:

The song Somewhere Over The Rainbow is your vision. The house lands and the munchkins proclaim their affirmation that “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!”.  The skill Dorothy is in search of is a way to get home.  She progresses by following the yellow brick road. Along the way, she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, all of whom show their authenticity by admitting they do not have a brain, a heart and courage. In an effort to help the three of them, Dorothy takes them on the journey with her to meet the wizard.  They are now her stake holders and she is creating a culture of servant leadership. We all know that once they actually get there, the “wizard” is a man behind a curtain.  This part of the movie just screams credibility. In the end, the real story is that the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion overcame their own obstacles and helped to save Dorothy. The Wizard gave them all affirmation that what they were looking for, they already had within.  Your meeting attendees may already have the skills and knowledge they need but it is your role as the meeting designer to create an atmosphere to help them discover these skills within.

The process of designing an inspiring meeting must have a clear vision, a great story and you must know the outcome, from the start.  What will your story be and how will you inspire your attendees at your next meeting?


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