Catalyst 2010

I’m excited to be a part of the Catalyst Conference again this year. I was fortunate to be on John Maxwell’s team when the conference was first started years ago, and it’s amazing to see how it has grown and expanded its influence around our nation and the world.

Yesterday, I got to talk to a room jam-packed with adults who want to understand, connect with and mentor the next generation. The leaders who have gathered here in Atlanta for this conference are hungry to impact students and the energy is palpable. During my talk, I shared several realities to remember when leading and teaching Generation iY.

Here are some of them:

1. Generation iY learns on a “need to know” basis.
Don’t just jump into your topic, take time to explain the relevance of it. Why should they listen? We must create incentive for them to believe they need to know what we are communicating.

2. Remember that “schemas” frame their world — so use them.
When students encounter new information, they attempt to relate it to something they already know. They process new data via their present experiences and understanding. Get familiar with their schemas.

3. The less predictable your words, the more memorable they will be.
Once you summarize your point, ask if it is a cliché? Find a fresh way to say it, with a new twist. Spend as much time on the “how” of your delivery as you do the “what” of our content.

4. The first few minutes must grab their head or their heart, if you want sustain their interest.
Be quick to get to some content, or reveal your own heart. Provide a reason for them to listen. Share your story. Be transparent. Take them on a journey — enlist them quickly to join you on this journey of learning.

5. The best learning occurs in a social context.
Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, held the theory of social constructivism. He confirmed that people learn best in community and relationship with a mentor or fellow students. Worldview emerges from interaction.

You can read the rest of the realities here.

If you’re in Atlanta for Catalyst, please stop by our Growing Leaders exhibit in the arena. I’d love to meet you and say hi.


Catalyst 2010