We have become so hooked on our simple Acting Up philosophy of "creating a space where good conversations can happen, prompted by interesting stimulus", that we are now delivering Train-The-Trainer programmes so that you can do what we do too.
The Train-The-Trainer programme (TTT) is useful in many ways; not only do we give you the actual teaching materials to use complete with the words to steer the process and tips for how to engage the room, but we also come and rehearse the process with you to ensure that everything we know about engaging people and coming across as the best version of yourself while doing so, is as comfortable to you as possible. Once you feel that you can push the boat out a little, bring your personality into the facilitation and get your team engaged, then you can use the skill-set over and over to generate human-focussed conversations ad infinitum.
It is strange that people should have any second thoughts about having conversations with their colleagues - sometimes we all feel insecure about how we come across as a trainer too - but the corporate system can be so rigid and frankly peculiar, that we question what is normal, what is common sense. We also sometimes feel guilty about having fun, as if we aren’t really working, but one of the things we love to point out when we’re running the TTT programme is that weaving fun into your sessions is a vital way of energising a room.
We have all become a little submissive as regards standing up to the system and we have lost a little of the spirit we need to excite people and to understand how best to shape the environment at work. Rehearsing behaviours and running the process with us will help to give you confidence in your style and support you in understanding what makes you persuasive. We show you when to stop with the humour too and when to start making note of the serious content our sessions can generate.
A well rehearsed process frees you to listen and to really plug in to what your workforce needs to tell you. The theatre world is very good at creating and rehearsing engaging processes, but don’t worry you won’t be giving it Jazz hands at the front of your training room, instead we’ll bring out the best and most natural version of yourself, so any insecurities you have about presenting or driving a process will be ironed out and you can begin to grow your skills with every session you deliver.
Some of the core elements of the TTT programme involves simply being able to say to the trainer that it is time to break up the information with some activities. We also point out that engaging an audience means giving them a bridge to cross, a puzzle to solve, instead of standing in front of the room like a 1950s school master.
We have all become a little submissive as regards standing up to the system and we have lost a little of the spirit we need to excite people and to understand how best to shape the environment at work.
We have been working with Rudi Sueys at Coca Cola recently who loved the Acting Up style but didn’t have a budget to fly us round his 19 global sites to deliver for him. We suggested the TTT and he was delighted to give it a go. As well as an Acting Up film, Rudi wanted to add in many of his own slides to a presentation, but we made sure that he wasn’t allowed to have more than one slide without involving the audience in some interaction or another. We also kept a really strict standard as regards what constitutes boring and axed sections that were starting to sound too much like a lecture. Rudi now has a really lively 3 hour safety leadership session which he is able to take round Coca Cola’s 19 sites himself so that not only can he get his frontline talking about their safety culture but also Rudi can work with local supervisors and site managers and teach them some trainer skills too. It becomes virtuous circle and an affordable way to ensure that the conversation never stops.
Of course we always benefit from being outsiders and that tends to give people freedom to speak in a different way. It feels like offering therapy. But for those of you who feel that they could bring their engaging conversations about culture in-house, a train the trainer programme could be the thing to kick start the type of sessions which will really bring out the best in you as a trainer and the people you really want to engage with the process.