Without sounding like Robert De Niro, there is definitely a mental preparation that I and our other head facilitators go through just before delivering any of our events. While I won’t start demanding my own trailer and make up assistant, mental preparation for an event really does help improve outcomes.
If you have never seen what we do, it is best explained as a high-energy musical performance that fully involves the audience. Our job is to inspire and entertain groups for sometimes hours at a time, keeping them challenged, surprised and committed to the task in hand.
If you think about what we are asking complete strangers to do – who (until we arrived) were perfectly happy and content within a normal working environment – it may seem a daunting prospect.
As we arrive, there is often mass confusion in the room as participants find out that they will be learning to play an instrument and doing very unusual things with their colleagues!
Added to this, we have to achieve the team building outcomes we have agreed with our end client. This is why our mental preparation is vital.
For me, mental preparation starts properly as I drive to the event itself. I think about the duration I have to work with and what formats will best suit the client’s brief.
I imagine in my mind the room, how we will set up and the kind of event it is. If it is an hour of team fun without business messages, I will approach the session very differently to a two-hour leadership workshop. There will be significant differences in the language I use, the amount of comedy and the pace of the session.
The minutes just before we start are similar to an actor or musician waiting in the wings just before they go on stage. The feeling is really exciting and is part and parcel of any creative endeavour. One we start and ‘blast’ into the room or jump on stage, we are totally switched on and ready for anything.
One thing I do before I arrive at the venue is visualise the end of the session. I imagine my client beaming with gratitude and shaking my hand, with participants up on their feet, giving rousing applause. This really helps me prepare for being the character I need to be, with sufficient energy to walk in with confidence, intention and gravitas.
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