Tag Archives: storytelling

Training the trainer. Growing with the business growth hub.

Back in October I joined a programme called ‘Spark 2 Scale’. A series of workshops run by The Business Growth Hub designed to boost businesses and help me grow the success of my own training sessions.

I’m at the halfway point and already seeing benefits. From practical networking to personal effectiveness and growth hacking.   Here are a handful of thoughts on what I’ve taken so it so far.


A timely kick in the pants.

Naturally, being self employed means I have to  be proactive, and speculative. With all the goodwill in the world, bad habits can creep into work patterns over time, my work patterns. The very nature of opting to go on a course to grow my business, creating a new ‘business model canvas’ is healthy. Being asked questions that poke at the corners of where I want to go with my niche ‘ stand up comedy techniques for presenting and public speaking‘  training is a very welcome and invited kick in the pants.

Better networking.
Delivering training on presenting and public speaking skills using techniques from my experience in stand up comedy, is a bit niche and a bit of a mouthful to explain concisely. I’ve always found networking a challenge not because of a lack of confidence, actually the opposite. I’m happy to talk and listen, but always found follow ups quite low. Learning that potential clients are more likely to look online for the kind of training I provide took the impetus off attending live events where I wasn’t speaking.
The advantage of the focused nature of the Spark 2 Scale programme is, I find,  that I’m in the room with other business minds eager to grow. That common goal really helps.  Like me they’re looking to pick up skills, and of course the best business offers are made when you’re not looking for them.

Thinking big.
The anticipation of having a growth strategist look over my new business plan with a fine tooth comb and a big red pen was a bit daunting. Despite recent successes, it was outside of my comfort zone, and some of my hidden worries (impostor syndrome or feeling like an amateur) were threatening t show themselves.
Wonderful then to sit down and have all that negative thinking evaporate as my adviser shared my enthusiasm for what I was doing and it’s growth potential. Helping open doors, look at big goals and point out flaws in a way that was practical and constructive.

Prep for the next step.
I’ve three new projects lined up, and as I’m writing this blog. Both leads came from the preparation I put in before starting the programme. I don’t want it to sound like bragging. ( I’m currently reading the book ‘How to toot your own horn without blowing it’ – Peggy Klaus). However once I’d signed up to the course I wanted to have clarity about my outcomes. Updating the website, re-writing  marketing content and polishing my elevator pitch, the little jobs that get pushed back received the extra attention they deserved and got results.

Supportive and sharing.
I’m aware through the many books I’ve read that business is people. Whatever the size. I’m influenced by my environment and the people I choose to work with. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the second masterclass was on personal effectiveness.  Clapping my hands under the table when the handouts touched on the ‘the map is not the territory’ one of my favourite phrases about planning and adapting to change.
Spark 2 Scale has provided an inspiring environment for my business goals and I’m glad to be part of it.

Links:
The Business Growth Hub

Creating artwork to tell a story

Last week I had a great time producing artwork at a conference break out session on storytelling. Using artwork to tell a story.

Myself and three other artists were given the brief to work with  management teams from a well know international engineering company. In the space of a few hours we had to create an engaging poster, which visually communicated the story of unity and passion in the work they did. artwork storytelling.

Listening to their ideas, as the artist I couldn’t help or offer my own input,  but did perhaps steer the conversation a little to facilitate the flow of creativity and ensure that everyone in the group had input in the final artwork.

creating the artwork from the idea n the group.

There’s something very cool and rewarding working on a tight timescale in a room with other artists.  Maybe somewhat competitive, but in a really positive hands on way. No digital, no undo buttons or layers, just a large sheet of A0 board to fill with marker pens . Also great to work alongside an old mate, Scott Tyrell. A former stand up comic,accomplished poet and creative director based in Newcastle.

Big thanks to Garry at Finite Productions, and Margot & the guys at Brand + Story for putting on a great event.

Engaging storytelling through artwork
The final artwork

Public speaking training. Presenting skills workshops. Storytelling workshops.

Paul Goddard | Improv in Agile development

Paul is a coach in agile development and certified Scrum trainer. He’s the founder of training company agilify and his book ‘Improving Teams’ brings together his work in agile and improv theatre, highlighting the overlaps and connections between the two.

In conversation we talk about the cost of change in the workplace and how similarities in agile and improv allow for efficiency in fields like software development. How adapting is as much about a given project as it is the people involved, and introducing improv for learning. We also touch on the geographical differences in recognition of improv in the US and UK for the  approach agile and improv use to introduce game play as a tool.

“Scrum master”. Number 8 in the 10 weirdest job titles in the UK.

button_sticher

Paul’s book on Amazon: Improv-ing Agile Teams: Using Constraints To Unlock Creativity

Bullet Points

  • An overview of Agile and Scrum.
  • The agile manifesto.
  • Scrum coaching.
  • Traditional software development vs agile.
  • Technology, culture and the dilemma of linear planning.
  • Seeing what you don’t want, to find out what you do.
  • Making the cost of change lower.
  • The comedy store players / Neil Mullarkey.
  • Connecting improv and agile.
  • Keith Johnstone.
  • Agile conference 2012.
  • suffer fromt he same legacy agile and improv.
  • Being open to learning and client rapport.
  • Fear of failure in computer science.
  • There is one truth, one outcome.
  • Preparing for change, adapting personally and professionally.
  • Slowing down to reflecting on a process and make improvements.
  • Scrum masters, putting games in timeboxes.
  • Scrum master – The 10 weirdest job titles in the UK – The Independent.
  • Relating back to the personal – Paul’s book examples.
  • Storytelling and the agile product owner.
  • Good companies have compelling narratives.
  • The Applied Improvisation Network.
  • US vs UK, Regular improv and agile approaches are built into the fabric of large tech companies. 10 years.
  • The sprint retrospective
  • Working with a group and creating in a safe environment for gameplay
  • Inspiring others through improv practices
  • Pixar, agile and storytelling.

 

Links:
www.agilify.co.uk | Paul on Linkedin

Direct Link