I was thrilled and delighted earlier this year to be invited to run two Applied Improv workshops at UNESCO in Paris, as part of a series of development events for staff from the Culture Sector. It’s great to know that more and more organisations are beginning to understand and appreciate the skills and learning that Improv can bring to the workplace.
The workshops proved . . . → Read More: Furnishished with Expectations
It’s been 11 years since I hung up my spurs as a professional theatre director, and refocused my working life as a trainer/facilitator/consultant. Since then I have been asked many times whether I missed the theatrical life, and had any plans to stage a return. My answer has always been a steadfast and happy “Nope!” The multitude of things I do now . . . → Read More: And that’s why they call it a Play…
Recently I have been rolling out some customer care training for a national retail client. Rather than bring their staff into central venues, the company decided to hold the training in each branch, in the evening, after work (pizza provided!) As the branches are all different sizes, sessions are held with groups as large as about 20, and occasionally as small as 3.
. . . → Read More: Another big, fat, useful, mistake…
Last week saw the first ever “Fear of Flying” course, and what an inspiration it was!
I had advertised it as a “Presenting for the Terrified” course. I am approached countless times by people who want to tell me how much they dread having to speak in public, how they wake up sweating at the thought, and of their experiences of shaking, mumbling, blanking, and . . . → Read More: Nothing to fear but fear itself….
At the risk of giving the impression that my life consists only of parachuting, and that I do no work at all, I feel the need once more to write about a recent skydive experience. I spent last week at a training camp in Spain with my primary team, who have just moved up to the “big boys” league of AAA in 4-way formation . . . → Read More: Champions – Skydiving and Otherwise (pt. 2)
Over the Easter break, during all that glorious sunshine, I was having fun being a skydive cameraman, jumping with and filming a team that is learning to compete in 4-way Formation Skydiving – a discipline within the sport which comprises 4 skydivers turning a series of pre-determined shapes in the air during a timed 35-second freefall. It takes excellent freefall flying skills, clear mental . . . → Read More: Champions – Skydiving and Otherwise (pt. 1)
Right up to the moment it all went wrong, I had been feeling pretty pleased with myself. Because it had been a really tough brief, yet it all seemed to be going so well. I had been asked to create an experiential workshop on customer care, and deliver it, solo, as a participatory session for 140 delegate from my local PCT! I had serious . . . → Read More: Set your phone to ‘stun’
The undisputed highlight of a training course this week was the moment when half the delegates disappeared! Far from worrying that something had gone wrong, I knew in that instant that everything was fabulously on track.
Research, not to mention all my personal experience, re-affirms that the best learning takes place when students are in an open, curious and lively state, more concerned with . . . → Read More: Dude, where’s my delegates…..?
I am currently delivering some training for Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust, as part of an excellent project to improve public health. The idea is to recruit people who are active in the community – youth workers, religious leaders, voluntary group co-ordinators, ESOL teachers and the like – and get them to help promote particular important health campaigns locally.
The hotel venue for this . . . → Read More: Getting the geography right
I’ve just got back from a 3-day conference in Amsterdam of the Applied Improvisation Network. A gathering of about 200 people from all over the world, who use Improv not just for entertainment, but to bring about social, personal, political or organisational change.
Now, if you’ve read my page on Applied Improvisation, you will understand that training in theatre Improv promotes and nurtures a number . . . → Read More: Fun but far from Frivolous
Box of Frogs has been meeting for 6 months now. There are around a dozen regular attenders, and about another 20 or 30 who drop in occasionally. We’ve been talking for a while now about performing in public. Because it’s one thing to amuse ourselves, it’s another to stand up in front of a real audience and see if what you do has any . . . → Read More: Whistling in the Light
Presenting with Passion – Elected Members, Coventry City Council
This was a first – I was asked to work with Elected Members of the council. I have often worked with employees and officers of Local Authorities, but Coventry have had the great idea of offering personal development courses to it’s elected Councillors.
This was a cross-party group of attendees, and I’m pleased to . . . → Read More: Yah Boo Politics
A recent event has reminded me of the importance of clearly setting up the framework within which I operate.
I was invited run a taster session by the Organisational Development department of a university, for a group of participants who were by and large postgraduate members of the lecturing staff. Early in the session it became clear to me that I was facing a . . . → Read More: What Exactly Do You Mean When You Ask Me To ‘Just Be Myself’?
Presenting With Passion course at TRW Cooper Standard Automotive
At the end of the session, somebody asks me “This is all very well, but we only dealt with upbeat topics. What if I have to deliver bad news, such as redundancies?”
I replied “The fact is, the challenge is identical. The task is still to take your audience on an emotional journey. In . . . → Read More: Bad News
Presenting with Passion course.
The participants are 14 young people from all around the world, on their Graduate Training programme. Working with a multinational group is interesting. Half the group do not have English as their first language, although all have an acceptable level as English is the working language of the business. I have to remember to speak more slowly and clearly than . . . → Read More: Breakthrough
Presenting with Passion – Telford and Wrekin District Council
The first part of a Presenting With Passion day usually consists of a series of games and exercises around fluidity and ease of speech. I do this for fun and energy, and also to give people the confidence that they actually can speak without preparation and notes. One or two of the games I . . . → Read More: Fear and Demons