I’ve always been one of those people who never quite worked out how to go on holiday. Instead I go to a large field and help about 1500 people spend a weekend in an immersive fantasy universe where they battle, politic, sing and politic some more.
I’ve never considered myself a generalist trainer – being focused specifically on my storytelling for presentations and business communication work – but the same principles of session planning applied when I developed a programme for Voluntary Arts England
I’ve recently joined networking group Women Outside the Box, and already been invited to provide an article for the website which is packed full of starter advice for setting up in business, and insider views on a range of issues. Naturally my article is about story-led presentations.
I probably shouldn’t have favourite clients, but when Philippa began our coaching sessions together by saying ‘I want to become a presenter that could get invited to give a TED talk’ I knew we were going to have fun working together.
It’s conference season for NFU Mutual, one of the big clients I work on for The Challenge Factor again. This year I’ve been working on engagement in Seminars as well as the usual input to structure of presentations, and for the first time taken on some logistics too – mostly in the form of shopping.
Adverse Camber are one of the leading producers of storytelling in the UK, and this year I’ve been evaluating tours Hunting the Giant’s Daughter and The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding. Which makes me sound like some kind of hyper critic! I’m not evaluating the artistic quality of the work, I’m evaluating the audience experience, and helping Adverse Camber find out more about their audiences, and possibly extrapolate to make predictions about storytelling audiences in an arts centre/theatre/ rural touring context.
I’m a little obsessed with Wordles as a means of communication. This one encapsulates the things we discover, explore and achieve in a short hit training programme I developed.
So much of my work with story is focused on coaching people to swap corporate presentation styles for structured storytelling, that I rarely focus on performance. I often find myself explaining that if anything, coaching is more rewarding than composing and performing my own works. Working with other people, you see transformation quickly, and that is highly gratifying.
One of the advantages of a portfolio career is that occasionally it is possible to plan time around exploring the edges of that portfolio. From my long term hobby interest in festival scale Live Role Play, and extensive professional interest in audience development, it is perhaps no wonder that Immersive Theatre is an area of practice that intrigues me.
It is hugely exciting when a client you haven’t worked with for a while makes a recommendation. Even more exciting when the piece of work turns to be one on one coaching for a senior executive which is among my favourite ways to work.