15 Questions to Inspire Conference Learning and Action





This fall I will serve as a Learning Catalyst for a national associations annual conference. It is one of my favorite roles: leading opening and closing segments, creating informal learning activities for breaks and meals, designing a tool to help participants capture their learning and plan future actions, and more.

Throughout the event, I will engage participants in conversations with themselves and with each other to deepen their connections to the content, the community, and their commitment to leading their organizations and profession.

As part of my preparations, I have created 15 questions I can call on to stimulate participant reflection, learning, and action.  Feel free to use them for your own efforts or contact me if you desire a Learning Catalyst for your upcoming conference.
  1. What one thing, as a result of what you have heard here, might make the most difference in your organization if it was successfully implemented?
  2. What’s your elevator speech, a headline, or a possible Tweet you could share that would highlight your core learning from this session?
  3. What idea, practice, or thinking has provoked the strongest negative reaction from you so far? Why is that?  What learning might be waiting for you if you explore your strong reaction a bit more?
  4. Thinking about what was shared in this session, what’s a doable step forward you could take, one that would get you in action about a bigger idea or goal you want to pursue?
  5. How will you contribute/are you contributing to others’ learning during the sessions? What more might you be able to do?
  6. Great sessions often inspire questions you need to explore further with others. What’s a question this conference (or this session) has inspired for you so far?
  7. What is a common theme emerging from the sessions you’ve attended and the conversations you’re having? What might it mean for your efforts?
  8. What’s the most provocative perspective or idea you’ve heard so far at this conference? What do you make of it?
  9. How are others’ experiences you’ve heard similar/dissimilar to your own and those in/of your organization? What might that mean?
  10. What, if anything, might you be doing that is getting in the way of your own learning? How can you manage this so that it doesn’t happen?
  11. What’s the conversation you most came here to have with others?
  12. Just like a car needs major maintenance at certainly mileage thresholds, periodically so do our organizations need some major work.  Based on what you’re learning at this conference, what major maintenance might your organization most need to address?
  13. How are you capturing not only what you are learning, but also who you most need to share it with during (o after) this conference?
  14. Leaders leave legacies.  Based on what you are learning, what might you now want to add to your legacy as a leader for your organization?
  15. What do you still need to learn from this conference and how are you going to ensure you do so in the time remaining?
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