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Fostering Connection (Jan Keck)

  • Episode #83

As a recovered “shy guy,” Jan Keck knows how hard connection can be for course students, especially online. In this conversation, he shares numerous tips for fostering connection among students, creating engaging events, and leading live experiences.

Jan Keck runs public events and online experiences that build trust, empower people to share vulnerable stories, and turn strangers into friends.

In this episode, Ari, Abe, and Jan discuss:

  • Creating a feeling of community within a group of attendees or students
  • Supporting frontline facilitators and trainers
  • A best practice for the very first minutes of an event, meeting, or gathering
  • The importance of breakout groups or rooms
  • Planning your first class, workshop, or course
  • Using “ice melters” instead of “ice breakers”
  • Navigating control of the live learning experience
  • A bonus tip for making the best of live-class recordings
“If I’m the only one talking, I’m taking something away from what the group could learn.”

– Jan Keck

Jan Keck runs public events and online experiences that build trust, empower people to share vulnerable stories, and turn strangers into friends. Jan’s mission is to help people feel less alone — by creating experiences, workshops, and programs, he is fueling the movement for deeper human connection. His “Connection Cards” have been used on every continent around the globe and helped turn more than 70,000 shallow conversations into deep connections.

In the past few years, he has run more than 30 workshops and trainings with more than 700 trainers, facilitators, educators, and team leaders. They learn the skills to create engaging, purposeful, inclusive, and connecting experiences on Zoom. Recently, he relocated from Canada to Germany to be closer to family and is continuing to build a community of trainers, facilitators, and creators that create “Magical Human Moments” online. His work has been featured on TEDx, CBC News, Breakfast TV, Cityline, and HuffPost.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
Jan’s website:

Hosts: Ari Iny and Abe Crystal
Producer: Cynthia Lamb
Assembled by: Fatima Fojas
Executive Producer: Danny Iny
Audio Post Supervisors: Evan Miles and Christopher Martin
Audio Post Production: Post Office Sound
Music Soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely
Making our hosts sound great: Home Brew Audio

To catch the great episodes that are coming up on Course Lab, please follow us on Mirasee FM’s YouTube channel or your favorite podcast player. And if you enjoyed the show, please leave us a comment or a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.

Music credits:
Track Title: Bossa BB
Artist Name: Marie
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough

Track Title: Coo Coos
Artist Name: Dresden, The Flamingo
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Grace
Artist Name: Shimmer
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Track Title: Carousel Lights
Artist Name: Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton

Special effects credits:
24990513_birds-chirping_by_promission used with permission of the author and under license by AudioJungle/Envato Market.

Episode transcript: Fostering Connection (Jan Keck) coming soon


Course Lab

Ever wondered how online courses could be even better? What would that next level look like? Those are the questions driving online course experts Ari Iny (Growth Manager of Mirasee) and Abe Crystal (co-founder of Ruzuku) in Course Lab. In each episode, they bring on an innovative course creator and deconstruct what makes their course (and course business) work for them and their students.