22 Oct 2017

"Now, what will I do?" - 3 years ago and now

It is good to stop, from time to time and ask oneself "What I really want to do, now? From now on?" That is what I did three years ago, and written a blog post about it, in from the moment neglected blog, CompetentCommunicator

At that time, I experienced different public speaking opportunities.

  • I was in train to perform my 77th Standup comedy, 
  • Had some experience in Professional Speaking, and also
  • Very rewarding experiences in telling personal stories before paying audiences
  • Creating Storytelling workshops in Toastmasters clubs and Area
What now? Which I prefer? I was asking myself. Indeed, we do need to stop from time to time instead or running and doing in different directions.

This morning, I got a message "When can I go to London to see you in a Standup?" I proved, when my grand-children visited or when I was filmed, I can still do it well. And I still enjoy to make laugh and use that open spoken persona. But nowadays, I prefer to add humour in my speeches. Sometimes, it even comes without any preparation. 

Telling some truths, can even make others laugh. I prefer to offer workshops "how to", nowadays. And, till I went to the material offered for Pathways Ambassadors now, too, I did not know that giving a workshop means you are "Trainer".  I "coached" many Toastmasters the last 7 years, for a speech, to become president of club, or simply a Toastmaster, I did believe I am a Coaching Leader. Preparing yet another "your leadership style" project from Level 2 I looked again at the styles attributed to me after the quiz. Almost same for many styles! Coaching, Altruistic, Authoritative, Innovative and so on, proving again that we can not be put in a box!

When asked if I had an experience as Trainer, I hesitated. What IS a trainer? And again, what is the difference between a Mentor, a Coach, a Trainer, a Workshop leader? In fact, more and more I realise, they are just words, and can be used often for doing the same.

I did offer a lot of Workshops, even some month after a month. So after the book I just read, I am a Trainer. Also, let us say, because I am now member of the Global Trainers Online Toastmasters club, where I went reluctantly "I am a trainer?" asking myself.

Here are some paragraphs (not in their order) taken from the Trainer Manual.
"As you help adults learn new information, do your best to maximise participation and interaction. The more involved we feel in our learning process, the more likely we are to remember and use the new skills learned. 
Create a hands-on learning experience. A training session is most effective when participants interact with you and each other. Encourage participants to take an active role in their learning through discussion, questions, and group activities.

Use humor. Don’t hesitate to make a joke or poke fun at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Share your experience, tell stories. Sharing your own observations, an relevant story, or even an article you recently read. Make information stick,

Show your genuine interest in the content you are delivering, make it fun and relevant for the participants. Ask the participants questions. Showing participants that you care about their questions, opinions, and contributions. Show pictures and videos, liven it up.

Plan for interruptions and develop strategies to address them. Demonstrate your understanding of the participants. Dealing with difficult participatns : The Talker; The Interrupter; The Chatterer; The Arguer; The silent type; The electronic device enthusiast.
 But... but, I have done all this, in my workshops! So I am a trainer? They liked it.

Notice, for those already in Pathways. Many of these suggestions are Pathways Projects. I did a month ago the Dealing with difficult audiences, when we role played interrupting me while I was presenting. I dealt with it "like a pro": of course I had my Standup Comedy experience also to bring in the project.

Storytelling, is another project. Indeed stories make information, message stick. Last. 
Humour? We will have a project for it soon, also: not so easy to write in in a few pages.
Presentation skills? a project. Using presentation software? A project. Questions and Answers? a project. Most of them all available from Level 3 already. 

Pathways helps you become many different things, you want to do, even if deciding is not easy. I did decide! Helping one by one, or helping a group, name it whatever "trainer, mentor, coach or workshop leader". Even if I also loved my hour and half storytelling too, but sharing what I know feels so good! Even through this blog. Or my neglected blog, Competent Communicators that popped up in Facebook this morning. 

Yes, popups allowed...

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