What I learned from comedians made me a better facilitator.
– First instincts and second nature.
I’ve been lucky to have worked with comedy festivals.
The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival and Assembly, Edinburgh Fringe.
One of the perks was going to many gigs. Comedians create a show, then tweak and refine it with each gig. They iterate and make it better. No different than any other product development. Find what works, making tweaks and changes along the way.
One day someone suggested I watch the audience rather than the stage. See how the audience was reacting.
(Try it sometime if you have a good viewing point.)
When looking at the audience, you can tell who are the great comedians.
Of course, they have their show set and comedic timing, but this is almost autopilot, a given.
What’s different is that they’re experts at reading an audience.
Their first instinct and everything comes from this.
Knowing when to hold them, move them, or change tactics for the set. They transfer energy around a room.
It’s an experience to see a comedy genius do this. The audience is one, engaged, twisting and swooping in unison like starling murmurations.
I’ve seen this many times and taken it as a big lesson for the facilitation of teams.
Expert facilitation and curation of workshop exercises take practice and experience.
It should then be second nature, autopilot.
Your first instinct is to read the audience.
Everything comes from this.
Manage their expectations and bring them along on the journey.
Make changes at a hat’s drop, ensuring the team is engaging and happy.
As a result, they get what they need in a short but memorable experience.
This instinct is a craft. It takes years to perfect and is the most enjoyable part of my work.
Introduction workshop available.
Showing you how to facilitate workshops and align teams …… and have fun!
Image by: Ralph Steadman – Seasoned First-Nighters and a First-Time Theatregoer