Why Meetings should be more like the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

First let me  openly confess…I love Jimmy Fallon.  I want to be his friend.  Who doesn’t? He’s the best! 

Just a little over a year ago Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show and what a difference!  The picture below is a great example of this transformation.  

A Justin-Jimmy duet is just the beginning, the show has been viewed over 2 billions times on YouTube, and has had a 41% ratings increase*.  What has changed?  

  • Musical comedy interwoven throughout
  • Games
  • Incorporating Technology
  • A fabulous host.  

Jimmy Fallon has created a new formula for success in late night TV.  It includes showcasing guests talents, integrating social media, not taking himself too seriously, trying new things, and most importantly having lots of fun.  My TV bestie is not just talented but playful, positive, charming, witty, and makes others around him feel relaxed and that they can be themselves.

In the meeting industry we often get our inspiration from pop culture.  I think there is a lot we can learn from Jimmy Fallon and a huge amount of inspiration to gain from him.  While meetings are important and usually include serious learning and business opportunities, we can still interweave a bit of fun.  In fact, new neuroscience research tells us that when playfulness is incorporated into learning, we retain much more than with traditional learning methods.  

Fallon incorporates games, music, and playfulness into every interview.

Fallon incorporates games, music, and playfulness into every interview.

The end result?  It is all about ROI.  Jimmy Fallon has had a 41% rating increase, why not shoot for a 41% attendee increase?  Or 41% more learning retention?  Or 41% more meaningful connections?  Or  a 41% return on your meeting budget to the organization’s bottom line?    All while having fun, who doesn’t want that!

Below are a few ideas inspired by my friend Jimmy (but implemented by Engagement Unlimited) to incorporate into you next meeting:

Roger Haskett has fun teaching participants The Power of Play

Roger Haskett has fun teaching participants The Power of Play

  1. Use musical comedy to communicate learning objectives.  We like to take pop songs, change the lyrics to reflect our client’s content, add some amusing characters, include some great dance moves, and encourage the audience to join in.

  2. Play hilarious games.  These don’t have to be at the expense of learning, we often (when appropriate) incorporate our client’s content so that groups have to discuss and explore together.  Games also always provide opportunities for deeper connections with others and provide the shared memories that make the conference stand out for participants.

  3. Find ways for your chairs or senior executives to deliver their message in a playful way.  Remember when Jimmy Fallon slow jammed the news with Barak Obama?  Imagine if your companies’ president slow jammed his/her goals for next years finances.  (We’ll help coach your executive to rise to this level of engagement)

  4. Find a fabulous conference host that keeps the energy high, is incredibly positive, improvises short comedic ‘bits’ with speakers, and most importantly gets the very best performances from his/her guests.  


* In the ages 18-49 demographic