Game on: 5 Ways to Boost Learning through Play

We don’t play enough. Play is so much more than just having fun. Play changes our neurobiology and is essential to our neurological growth and development, well-being and creativity. Play allows children to build complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept and cognitively flexible brains. Play has also been identified as one of the primal emotional systems of animals. Adults can benefit from play as a way to boost creativity, imagination, and social agility.

Learning through play is both engaging and effective. Here are five ways to boost learning through play:

1. Play can relax the brain and make us more comfortable to take risks and experiment. As adults we become overly concerned with the opinions of others. The fear of embarrassment and social rejection inhibits our creative expression. Play eases these tensions and encourages action.

2. Play introduces the elements of challenge and reward. Rewards trigger the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which Professor David Linden calls “the Compass of Pleasure.” Dopamine increases our internal motivation and desire to learn. When uncertain outcomes are coupled with random rewards, we become even more engaged in the activity. When the brain is busy predicting if we win or lose, it produces more dopamine, which is responsible for focused attention and more pleasurable experience.

3. Play helps us enter the state of flow, or complete immersion in a task. According to psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, to achieve the state of flow, we need a careful balance between the level of challenge and the skills of the participant, as well as immediate and unambiguous feedback. Play allows us to create and test those levels of engagements and see our progress, keeping us curious and persistent.

4. Play prepares us for the unexpected and encourages flexibility. We can change roles and identities like game avatars, consider what-ifs and come up with more creative solutions. Through role playing, we can put ourselves through different kinds of experiences and emotions, learn to better understand other perspectives and produce a more diverse repertory of behavior.

5. Play leads to mastery. Play is a ritual with its sets of rules and scripts. As any ritual, play creates expectations for a certain kind of behavior and prompts the brain to give commands in accordance with these expectations. We can practice and get better through play. Thus, play offers a fun way to build skills.

As a speaker, author or expert, you can incorporate the elements of play and gamification into your content to boost engagement and learning. Games offer an easy way to introduce your audience to your main messages and teachings. Click HERE to see the World Class Speaking trivia game that The Brain Alchemist developed to promote brain-friendly public speaking.

Speaking Trivia Game

P.S. What kind of game could you create for your audience? Explore and play with us when you sign up for our Bookphoria complimentary consultation at

By | 2014-04-28T16:45:37+00:00 April 28th, 2014|Communication, Learning, Public Speaking|2 Comments

How to enchant with your brand online in 20 seconds or less

enchanting-300x225Online communications are often devoid of facial cues and physical interactions. Therefore, they may feel impersonal.  Research shows that even most charismatic authors, speakers and experts may lose their attraction power via the Internet. In time when everyone can build a website, a blog and even produce their own movie, standing out from the crowd is more and more challenging. You no longer should shoot for mere “attention”, but for a strong emotional response to your brand and your services. You must strive to enchant your audience so they can trust and buy from you.

Every second counts online. Every point of interaction with a client is your opportunity for enchantment. A brand bumper may be a great solution for your company, especially if you produce videos. A video bumper is a brief announcement, usually two to 15 seconds that can contain a voice-over, an image, or a dynamic logo with the background music announcing your brand. It’s a branded piece of video – a video intro – that you can put top and tail on your video marketing to give you a professional edge. To learn more about how to build a great bumper read our blog post here.

Today we want to enchant YOU… and show you several case studies of brand bumpers that our Bookphoria team created for our clients.

The Chakra Shoppe:

The owner of the Chakra Shoppe Blanche Blake (www.chakrashoppe.com) wanted to see her brand shining through her brand bumper. Blanche is a talented energy healer, who wanted to show the healing, flowing, peaceful and blissful feeling that her customers get after the treatment. She also wanted to utilize all colors of the rainbow that correspond to the colors of 7 chakras. In addition, Blanche is an incredible singer who wanted to use her music piece in her video bumper.


This bumper was created for Dr. Marina Kostina’s company Wired@Heart (www.wiredathear.com) the main goal of which is to help small business owners build connections and engagement online. Therefore, we chose warm colors, animation and the music that create a sense of warmth, connection and interaction yet have a high-tech feel. The sparkles represent energy exchange among people.

The Brain Alchemist:

My own bumper for The Brain Alchemist demonstrates the power of the brain. The core message is to “rewire your brain to speak your mind and be heard.”

Liquor License Academy:

Trust, simplicity, elegance are the cornerstones of Liquor License Academy. We wanted to portray a solid, reliable service for the sophisticated members of the liquor industry. The colors and the music of this bumper were intended to created a safe, relaxing environment which projects trustworthy yet friendly context for learning.


In our Bokphoria bumper, we show how a book comes alive through the growing of the vines from the book, the changed color of the logo and the dramatic music – we want our audience to see that they become not only writers of their content and their books but producers/ actors/ high tech designers.

These are a few examples of video bumpers. You could be the next lucky one to let your brand shine through your personalized, enchanting digital signature! Sign up for our complimentary consultation at http://bookphoria.com/register-for-your-complimentary-consultation/

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By | 2014-04-09T20:50:55+00:00 April 9th, 2014|Communication, Learning|0 Comments

7 Facets of Book or Expert Content Trailers that INSPIRE [Infographic]

Book trailers are video promotions for a book, similar to those of movie trailers. In the age of short attention spans and information overload an author or an expert cannot afford not to implement the most innovative marketing techniques to stand out from the crowd. Professional book trailers can instantly attract audience’s attention and ignite their curiosity, allow you to be viewed as an expert and can even go viral.

There are 7 main characteristics of a successful book trailer that one needs to take into account. We abbreviate them as INSPIRE. They apply not just to books but to any expert content that you may want to promote through a video trailer.

We created an inforgraphic to visually represent these 7 facets of an effective book trailer. Please feel free to print it out and share it with your social networks.

Want to develop your own book or expert content trailer? Sign up for our complimentary consultation at http://bookphoria.com/register-for-your-complimentary-consultation/

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By | 2014-02-26T16:36:03+00:00 February 26th, 2014|Books, Communication, Learning, Public Speaking|0 Comments

The Speaker Transmedia Mindmap: Building Your Content Marketing Mosaic

As a speaker, you may be wondering how multimedia solutions fit into the overall business marketing strategy. Creating compelling content is just one part of it.  You need to have appropriate distribution channels for your expert content, and it must engage your audience, prospects and clients.

According to Canada Media Fund Keytrends Report 2014, “value is now generated by the relationship between audience and content” and “the intent is to give participating audiences the opportunity to add value to the content distribution process.”

You want to meet your audience on the channels where they already interact with information and other people and make it easy for them to share and talk about your content.  The Speaker Transmedia Mindmap is a visual guide that shows how you can use multimedia solutions across various media channels to evolve your story.  Each channel can serve as a door into your transmedia world and an invitation to experience your story from different angles and perspectives. Click here to see the full-size image.

Speaker Transmedia Mindmap

What would your transmedia platform look like? Let’s chat about it when you sign up for our complimentary consultation at http://bookphoria.com/register-for-your-complimentary-consultation/

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By | 2014-02-17T21:41:09+00:00 February 17th, 2014|Communication, Learning, Public Speaking|0 Comments

7 ways speakers can use transmedia to grow and engage their audience

avatarTechnology offers speakers, authors and experts an opportunity to spread their messages across multiple media channels.  A skillful pairing of content with a virtual platform can unfold your story further and create a unique experience for your audience. I described the concept of transmedia that uses technology and community engagement to create multi-dimensional stories in my previous blog post.

Speakers can leverage cross-media platforms to increase the impact of their narratives. Here are 7 ways you can use transmedia to grow and engage your audience:

1. Create a series of comics with the main characters of your story that expand on the material in your presentation.  For example, if you chose to edit out certain parts of your presentation, you can bring them back in the comics format. Invite your audience to subscribe to your virtual comics series to call back to and further unfold your presentation ideas so that your audience could continue learning from you through the comics updates.

2. Develop an assessment based on your expert content that allows your audience to identify their avatar, or type, and guide them to the content that is custom-designed for their specific avatars.  Your audience will be more likely to engage with the material that they find relevant to their needs. You can generate a QR code that will take your audience to the assessment and include it in your printed materials to distribute during live presentations.

3. Create an animation or a scenario-based video to illustrate one of the main points in your presentation. Check out this beautifully animated RSA Short, in which Dr. Brené Brown explains empathy. You can use such animations in workshops, webinars and your own marketing.

4. Use art, illustrations, and props to present your ideas. Here is how Brad Heckman used his own drawing during his TEDx Talk on Mindfulness in the Midst of Conflict at Columbia Teachers College, which is now available in the video format.

5. Develop a blog series based on your expert content. Such blog series can include the background information about your characters, visual representations of the scenes from your stories, audience surveys, puzzles and other game elements, quests and challenges that encourage your audience to participate and offer rewards to active community members.  You can invite the audience to apply the strategies you share to various scenarios introduced through such blog series.

6. Design physical artifacts based on your presentation content, such as postcards, bookmarks, stickers, pins, and calendars with your quotes. You can distribute them at your live presentations or include them with your speaker package for event planners.  You can invite your audience to recreate unique elements of your expert content as drawings, clay figures or origami during your workshops and use them as anchors to improve the recall of the material.


7. Collect brief opinions, testimonials or comments from your audience by using video-sharing applications, such as Instagram or Vine. Feature them with the participants’ permission on your blog as a way to promote your presentations and workshops or generate a discussion about a particular topic.

These are just some possibilities of how your story can be told in different formats across multiple platforms.  We can help you bring your own transmedia project to reality through Bookphoria multimedia solutions. Apply for our free exploratory session to learn more at


By | 2014-02-03T19:15:12+00:00 February 3rd, 2014|Learning, Public Speaking|1 Comment