I was hired by Urban Expositions to speaking on Netwalking for their company spring meeting on Millennials and Mindfulness held in Marietta, Georgia. The goal of my participation was to provide an engaging team building exercise. I presented on the benefits of walking meetings, ways to incorporate walking into the workday and I hosted a Netwalk. I was honored to be the featured speaker and I personally learned so much from the attendees as they asked questions and shared stories. Below are 4 key takeaways that I feel will benefit your business too.
1. Storytelling strengthens connections- Telling stories is always a great way to connect to others. Whether you’re taking to someone one-on-one or speaking to a group, personal experiences make people feel connected. I shared my story on how the idea for Netwalking came about. While I was nervous speaking to a group of 80+, I felt more at ease after noticing the connections I made from my story. It was a cliffsnotes version of my story, but it gave the audience a better understanding of how walking has benefited my life. They also left with a better understanding of why I am so passionate about walkability (a measure of how friendly an area is to walking).
2. Create a welcoming space for audiences- During workshops and team building events, not everyone will feel at ease to participate. Some people are more shy and reserved. This is why it’s important to create a space where everyone feels welcomed. I did that with interactive activities during the talk to get everyone more comfortable with each other. I asked open ended ice breakers that were appropriate for all generations and personality types. I also, included a breathing and balancing exercise to create positive vibes and laughter, which always makes people feel more at ease.
3. Netwalking requires advanced route planning- Since we were planning on Netwalking for 40 minutes, I called the resort where the event was being held in advance to learn what was within a one-mile radius. I learned that Marietta Square was to the left of us that may have many things for us to see. To the right was a neighborhood with large trees that may be a great spot for nature walks. I got there early and walked both routes. I decided that neither was the best route because the Square’s route didn’t feel safe with a clear path for the group and the area with trees did not feel inviting. What I failed to ask the resort was if it was a pleasant walk and their definition of walkable. I ended up creating a route around the resort that was more relaxed and easily walkable. My intention for sharing this story is that anytime you plan a Netwalk, it’s important to take steps to ensure you have a clear walking route that showcases the surrounding area positively. This is one of the things I teach my Netwalking clients how to do successfully. There is a TED Talk on Happy Maps from researcher Daniele Quercia with insight on walkability and happy routes.
4. “No time” is the number one excuse people give for not exercising and here’s how to stop it. This excuse can’t be true because we all have the same exact amount of time in a day. It’s true that some people have busier schedules than others, but that doesn’t mean there is “no time” to exercise. I talked about how to easily incorporate exercise into a busy workday. This is where the importance to Netwalking comes in. If management at work encourages walking meetings and adds them to your calendar as an option to a conference room; you will be more likely to have a walking meeting because it is encouraged. Other things you can do include taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking outside to each lunch instead of sitting at your desk and even parking at the end of the parking lot which will require you to walk a bit more to the entrance.
Thanks again to Urban Expositions for hiring me as a Speaker for their event. I look forward to speaking more in the future. If you’re interested in hearing me speak to teach your company more about Netwalking and staying healthy in the workplace, please check out my speaking services here.
until we netwalk again®