The keys to great facilitation: clowning for presence and connection

“You’ll practice letting go and rediscover spontaneity.”

Clowning for Facilitators is a unique opportunity for facilitators, trainers and educators to differentiate a good facilitator from a great one: someone who is comfortable with themselves, connected to the group, and tuned in to where the discussion needs to go.

Through movement, play and the art of clown we explore how you can use being present in your body to better connect with the people you are working with, and how an understanding of theatrical devices like timing and rhythm help you better manage the energy in the room and the flow of the day.

The art of clown holds surprising learnings for the facilitator. Clown – as presented in this format – lets us develop the intangible but critical aspects to facilitation that are often developed on the job.

Many of us think of clown as silliness and slapstick (which it can be) but there is a much deeper learning enabled by this type of play. We learn to be more comfortable in ourselves (or notice when we are not comfortable), to explore the tensions between doing and being still, and to understand more about how we are with others. We also cover practical performance skills that help with running engaging training sessions, such as timing, using tension in a health way, playing with rhythm and lifting the energy in a room.

 

For facilitators, teachers and people who lead groups. Places limited to ten.

Who is this workshop for?  Facilitators, trainers, educators and people who work with people – from freelancers to organisations like Department of Water, Challenger TAFE, Powerhouse Museum and Department of Agriculture – have all come along to this workshop and expressed enjoyable, practical, professional learning.

“It was valuable to take myself out of traditional facilitator type training and try something new.”

“A great and valuable experience – you learn so much about yourself through small games and activities with other people.” (Janni, Meld Studios, Sydney)

“Most valuable for my professional life was widening the possibilities for leading facilitation, and finding links between theatre and work.” (Andrew Botros, Expressive Engineering, NSW)

“I will remember to say committed to my audience/client needs, listening deeply and engaging to find creative solutions.” (Kate, performer, NSW)

“Tell future participants they’ll find room to play and discover themselves in a supportive, open environment.” (Dominique, Meld Studios, Sydney) 

“I’ll be making room for stillness and allowing people to come to conclusions without telling them how to get there.” (Gemma, Facilitator at Scitech, WA)

“The most valuable thing for my professional life was watching the group form and doing things easily, not the hard way”.
(Beth, Disabilities Services Commission)

“A highlight was thinking more consciously about how it feels to be an audience member and how I can reflect on this experience as a facilitator.” (Jacqui, Challenger TAFE)

“In the future I’ll be more relaxed and self-aware…” (Diana, Life without Borders)

“I loved it.”
(Kate Raynes-Goldie, lecturer at Curtin University)

 

Engineers v. entrepreneurs: the great impro-off

Every played at improvisation? These are the exercises actors use to be able to create whole performances from scratch on the spot.Improvisation in companies takes those exercises and applies them to building skills which help improve business performance.On the surface, it looks like a facilitator having you running around and playing games to stimulate your creativity and capacity for complete ridiculousness. What it actually does is help you practise bringing more of your great ideas to your company. Continue reading “Engineers v. entrepreneurs: the great impro-off”

Capitalism is the new activism: big business and media lead the way to social and environmental change

Late last year I had the pleasure of meeting with Sophie Tranchell, Managing Director of Divine Chocolate  and an activist at heart. Armed with management experience in the film industry, Sophie arrived at Divine ready to merge her passion for social transformation with good business sense, understanding that the market has the power to bring about massive change and that creativity and communications are the key to people’s hearts. Continue reading “Capitalism is the new activism: big business and media lead the way to social and environmental change”

What happens when you attend a digital media conference with an old-school mobile phone?

FutureGov’s Gov 2 Gov conference at Canada House had superb chandeliers, live tweeting, and an opportunity to discuss social media as a tool for government engagement.

Given it was a conference on digital media, it’s not surprising everyone I spoke to was surprised I didn’t have internet access on my old-school Nokia.

What did I learn?

1. Issues for strategic thinkers in digital engagement are the same I come across (and subsequently beat down with a sledge hammer) in my work in other sectors: forgetting to ask:  ‘Why are we doing this?’, ‘Who are we doing it for?’ and ‘What is the best way to do it?’,  before diving in.

2. Digital media and the potential for mass collaboration is a fabulous way in to ask strategic questions.  It’s the perfect combination of geeky and cool; most people want to be a part of it before they fall behind; and those who think it’s ‘never going to catch on’ will be the ideal antagonist for office debate – and will eventually be telling the rest of the world that they were a part of it all from the very beginning.