In case you missed Wednesday’s webinar on Neuroscience: “Why We Do What We Do” you can watch it on-demand!
Here’s a word from the guest speaker of this topic, Lynn Randall:
Experience Design Brainiacs
Great event experience design can come from anywhere. But, truly brilliant experiences grow from understanding the human beings who’ll be consuming what we create. This is the basis for diving into what may seem an academic and unrelated scientific area of study. But, peeking into the human brain and applying what you find inside may truly be the stuff of genius.
Let’s start with a basic and easily relatable fact. We’re social beings. No really, and truly deep to our core we are all social, because we’re wired that way. It helped our caveman ancestors survive in the wilds. Alone they realized they would die, but bonded together in groups they were more likely to live to see another day.
One of our basic human drives is the desire to bond and connect with each other. We know this, because we receive natural chemical drug hits when we meet someone. Whether we’re connecting with someone new or catching up with an old friend in-person or online, our bodies release oxytocin. Oxytocin is the naturally occurring chemical that makes us feel content, affectionate, and generally calm. Doesn’t that make you feel even better about the public service you’re providing as an event professional? You’re spreading trust and contentment with every welcome reception or final night party you create.
Those aren’t the only emotions upon which we should focus. Harnessing the power of emotion carries along the greater good of achieving your event’s business goals and objectives. We always thought that logic and reason were the strong biceps of a business message’s knock-out punch. Neuroscience tells us that’s just not the case. It’s actually emotion that creates a much more powerful impact that logic or reason. Cognition and emotion are closely related and intertwined within our brains. The existence of neural wiring between the thinking and emotional centers of the brain mean that emotions are the gateway to helping or preventing the brain’s ability to retain information and learning.
Another key component to message absorption is that we have to provide our audiences with the grand scheme – the meaning behind our message before we launch into the minute details. If we aren’t thinking first about the meaning of our message, none of the other facts will stick. But wait, I’m not completely done with the emotional connection yet. Because studies have shown that emotional arousal focuses attention on the “gist” of an experience at the expense of peripheral details. Make sure your audience knows what you mean before you give them the charts, graphs, and lists of details.
These are but a few nuggets of the event design gold that comes with mining the findings of neuroscience. It’s my hope that these nuggets spark your interest in exploring more of the fascinating world of the human brain and what makes us tick.