It’s “back to school” time. My daughters have returned to college. The house feels a little empty, truth be told. But this seasonal change is giving me renewed energy and focus. I invite you to join me in the next NetSpeed Nuggets session as we explore Six Theater Techniques to Enhance Virtual Learning (see below for more information).
Our approach to virtual training at NetSpeed Learning has been inspired by my background in Theater (I have a master’s degree in Directing from the University of Washington). When a group of actors begin to rehearse with a director, they usually begin with a written script. Often, the first few rehearsals involve reading the script together while sitting around a conference table. A good director will begin to clarify and explain the structure, the themes, and the characters in the play.
Some directors like to get the actors up and moving early in the rehearsal process. But getting everyone moving is hindered if any one of the actors has failed to memorize their lines. In the theater, knowing your lines is called being “off book.” It’s essential to the creative process that the actors master their lines as quickly as possible. Out of that mastery arises the freedom to explore, react, and respond to their fellow actors.
Let’s connect getting “off book” to facilitating an engaging virtual training experience. The more a facilitator masters the content they present, the better the learning experience for participants. A facilitator reading a training script aloud is usually boring. Either the facilitator’s voice becomes flat and monotone as they read, or their voice becomes singsong, much a like a first-grade teacher might sound reading a story.
But beyond how boring the trainer is when they are tied to their “book”, they lose the opportunity to connect with and engage the participants in the virtual training session. It’s fine to have brief notes ready to make sure you state a fact correctly. But reading from those notes makes it harder for the facilitator to be fully present with the participants in the course. So, get yourself “off book” as quickly as possible and shift your focus from the content to the participants.
In our next NetSpeed Nuggets session, we will explore more techniques that theater professional use, and apply them to creating vibrant, engaging learning experiences. Join us at this 30-minute, complimentary session, Six Theater Techniques to Enhance Virtual Learning, on Wednesday, September 14, at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT. Registration is required.