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In any learning event, participant engagement naturally fluctuates. While moments of intensity and discovery may captivate a room, attention can also drift when lengthy stretches pass without interaction.

This poses a challenge for facilitators—how to reignite disciplined focus and reconnect people to the learning experience?

Here is where the Memorable Learning Experience (MLE) interventions come into play. MLE interventions are brief, well-timed activities or active contributions that energize participants, reinforce desired cultural values and learning outcomes, and boost psychological safety and inclusion.

Ideally, MLE interventions should be injected approximately every 8 minutes. This provides welcome variety and stimulates multiple learning modalities. However, reading the room and exercising judgment is key. These are some reasons of why doing it every 8 minutes:

Keep in mind that over-intervening can feel disruptive, while under-utilizing MLEs can lead to diminished engagement. A common obstacle is presenters or leaders with greater hierarchical status who may resist interventions that briefly pull attention away from their message.

A skillful facilitator remains focused on serving the participants' needs and gently intervenes when energy is flagging. Framing MLEs as enriching rather than distracting is key.

When introducing the meeting, talk, or event, explain their purpose is to deepen connections and learning for all. Emphasize that it will be an interactive session. Leaders modeling openness to MLE legitimize the practice.

In a virtual setting, chat, polls and breakout rooms provide easy avenues for MLEs. For in-person events, creative room layouts and group configurations enable movement. With care and courage, facilitators can bring engagement to life through well-executed MLEs that leave participants feeling energized and enriched.

Injecting interventions may be disruptive to hierarchy and structure, but it is profoundly constructive in enabling transformative and memorable learning experiences.

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