Engage, Play, Inspire
Using Improvisation to Train the Trainer
Thank you all for attending the BraveSpace session at ATD-ACE 2019. You are all improvisers and did amazing work.
Let’s connect/follow me on LinkedIn. I put a lot of stock into growing my network, sharing knowledge and would love to have you there. (All the other fancy social links are at the bottom of the page for easy access.)
Improv classes for professionals Fall Session Begins in Sept. -note that the exact start date will be confirmed once class is full, we do this to accommodate the masses, if you have any questions, just email me.
Below I have provided: Recap of Session, Additional Resources and Reinforcements. Please do not hesitate to reach out for anything else you might be curious about.
In this session, participants explored how to infuse improvisational tools, techniques, games and exercises into live learning experiences. Learning is no longer a one size fits all and the ability to pivot in the moment, use humor to diffuse tension, facilitate difficult conversations and design interactive, engaging and experiential learning will arm today’s Trainer with a unique and powerful toolkit. This session focused on the following key skills for Trainers and Facilitators:
• Adapting to the changing needs of today's learner
• Thinking fast, Pivoting in the Moment
• Tapping into creativity and authenticity, driving a more customized learning approach.
• Designing for Interpersonal Communication Skills • Designing for Engagement and Training that Sticks
• Storytelling, Personalizing the learning experience
Trainers can Benefit from:
The ability to adapt to the changing needs of the learner.
Thinking quick -the speed of learning is faster than ever.
Being more creative and innovative -can drive a more customized learning approach.
Approaches that include an emphasis on refining the social skills of the workforce and ensure that human to human skills training is on the agenda.
Spontaneity -flexibility in approach to designing learning scenarios.
Creating more engagement -can serve to retain and motivate employees.
Storytelling -personalizing the learning experience
Here are the exercises we covered and a link to a slew of others.
This is a great exercise used to get participants out of their head, present and vulnerable. When used in a training, it is recommended to do a lighter game before this one, maybe a name game or introduction game. (Note-we did not start with pointing because of time, but I suggest you do.)
Participants form a big circle. Facilitator introduces the game offering instruction. “In this exercise you will look at someone in the circle, point to them and wait until they say “Go!”, giving you permission to take their spot. Before moving, they must point to someone and get permission to take their spot.” This is an exercise of looking at someone, pointing, getting a verbal “Go”, taking their spot, while they look for a place to go…and so on and on. In the first round use pointing, in the second round remove pointing and use eyes to get someone’s attention. You can add a third round with no talking, just looking and getting a nod instead of a verbal GO.
After first round, ask participants: How did it feel? What’s making it hard/easier? What can we do to help each other? You may start and stop multiple times in the beginning just side coach and cheer them on. They should discover that slowing down, putting their eyes out and being present and alert, and taking care of each other will help them have success. In the Debrief tie the act of being present, taking care of each other, slowing down and any other applicable behaviors are valuable in work and relationships.
2- Thank you, Statue!
I’ve got your back.
Simple, Deliberate is better than showy and stealing the show.
Have the group stand in a circle. One person, any person, go to the middle of the circle and strike a pose like a statue. Now anyone can relieve the current statue by striking a pose next to the statue that enhances or compliments the statue. The current statue will say “Thank you statue” and get back in the circle. Continue this until everyone has been a statue several times, if time allows.
How did that feel?
Did you think is was easy/hard? Why?
How did it feel when no one came out for you?
What was going through your head if you weren’t out there?
Are there times in your work that you feel like you are alone and flailing?
Randomly walk in space, stop 3-4 times
Walk becomes stop, stop becomes walk
Name (shout name) and Jump (hop) (3-4 times, interspersed with walk and stop)
Name becomes jump, jump becomes name (1 min)
Clap and Twist (practice 2 times), intersperse with other commands
Clap becomes twist, twist becomes clap (1 min) - mix up all commands, end on 3 twists and circle up
What makes that exercise so hard?
When we need to adapt/change - we have existing habits/language that requires effort and energy to change
We aren’t clean slates.
What happened when you made a mistake? Mistakes are common and no big deal
Not worrying about them
Clear head, not thinking just doing
Did you worry about what other people were thinking/if they were watching you?
4. Word at a Time Circles
Let’s get into groups of 5
Two things to keep in mind for this activity.
1-All words are created equal. You don’t have to throw in a fancy word.
2-We don’t want a sentence that runs on and on. Sentences have periods, but we don’t have to say it, we just know it. So, if it starts to get wonky, stop, reset and start again.
Name of a well known celebrity?
Name of a popular vacation destination?
The story of _____ goes to _______.
STOP- talk among yourselves in your group about how you can make your story better.
As we do the next round, think about how you can make your partner look good, how you can add to the story.
Round 2 -New suggestion.
STOP- As a group talk about what behaviors you used as an individual to help the group.
GO to flip chart. Stay in groups. What were some of these behaviors?
Write them down.
What was the fundamental mechanics of this exercise?
Equal time, equal word, equal contribution, everyone gets a chance, no one is skipped.
Does this list remind you of anything going on in your work?
What does this list tell us about working together?
How can we take the experience back into our workplace?
BraveSpace Programs for Trainers
These programs are examples of areas, we focus on in our work with Trainers, they can be pieced together or customized to your specific goals.
Part 1-Improv Fundamentals for Audience Engagement: Collaboration, Listening & Trust
Part 2-Inspire & Play with the Power of Storytelling
Part 3-Adapting in the Moment: Agility in Process and Performance
Part 4-Executive Presence: Own your Confidence and be Audible-Ready
Note-Each Part is built as a half day session, however, all parts can be amended in content or time to meet clients needs.