My sister had a "fun time" trying to answer to her 4-year-old daughter's "Why?" questions. Eg "Why is the actor's name is like her brother's?", "Why the chef's name sounds like Grandma's ?" etc.
This reminds me of something. Why? Why? Why?" is a root cause analysis technique to find root causes to a problem; usually used as part of creative problem solving process.
Let say, if you are late for an appointment, find the root cause by asking "why?". Sample: Why I was late for appointment? Because there was a traffic jam. Why? Because I boarded the bus late. Why? Because I woke up late. Why? Because I slept late.
So, sleeping late could be a root cause; and solve the root cause by : sleeping early! I sleep early, means I can wake up early, then I can board the earlier bus, which could beat the traffic jam, and I would not be late for the appointment.
It's all started by asking a simple "Why?".
And back to my sister's story, to have kids having to ask such questions, it's only natural because creativity are in-born.
So, the next time you are faced with a challenge and are stuck for solution, unleash the inner child in you; then ask the "Why questions" and solve the challenge!
If you are stuck for ideas, what would you do to help overcome that "idea-block"? One of the ways is to brainstorm for ideas is use a theatre activity called, "Yes, and ..."
This is how the game goes:
Let’s say you are planning for a birthday bash for your friend. You gather some of your common friends to brainstorm for ideas.
How to run this activity:
1) Have an agreed time frame (eg 2 mins) for this idea generation exercise.
2) First Person will start a sentence; and the following people will continue the sentence with a “Yes, and ” and then add on the idea.
3) No judging for this round and let the ideas go with the flow….
4) Next person have to keep adding on within 2-3 seconds after the previous person has contributed an idea… If that person is short of ideas, skip and move on to the next person…
5) Once time is up, review the list
Person 1 (P1): Let’s have the party with a zoo-theme..
P2: Yes, and let’s use the monkey as a mascot …
P3: Yes, and we’ll decorate the venue with lots of banana …
P4: Yes, and we can have many kinds of fruit juices as drinks…
P1: Yes, and we’ll inform people to come in safari clothings …
P2: Yes, and ….
Because no "judging" should take place here, ideas will flow. Through this activity, you can easily come out with many ideas, just like the game above.
Once the team has decided to end the idea generation, review the list and choose which attributes would suit best for the event.
Hope this quick tips help you to generate ideas quickly.
In my public speaking training session, there is a segment what we called "Persona Interview". In this segment, a participant will step forward and take a role of a persona that he/she doesn't resonate with.
For example, once there was one guy (Let's call him "A") in my training session who took the challenge and put up a persona of a "professional bodybuilder", even though he admitted he didn't look like one(we could see that too!) and it had been ages since he went to the gym! As he sat in front, anyone in the room can throw him questions. He would then have to answer those question, as if he was an expert in that field. The only rule we used in the game was that, whatever, this "bodybuilder" answered (even if we knew it didn't make any sense), we would agree with the answers because afterall he's a "professional bodybuilder"!
Once the segment kicked off, we had a good laugh because we received all sorts of funny answers. And because we sticked to the rule, we accepted all answers and asked even more questions - getting more funnier answers.
As the segment progressed , "A" grew in confidence answering those questions. Why was that so?
"A" mentioned that one of the main reasons he felt confident because he knew that he would not be faulted for any of his answers. That took one major "burden" off his mind.
You see, we are too judgmental even on ourselves. That doesn't make us look confident when are presenting. We just need to kick that habit out. Why judge ourselves, even before we step out to speak?
If "A" could be so confident answering the questions, even though he was not a "professional bodybuilder", we can definitely be more confident speaking in our professional/ personal capacity - given that we have all the content with us!
So, if you would like to achieve that confidence level when speaking in the public, why try this activity as you are rehearsing for your presentation. Put yourself in a persona, and rehearse your presentation in that manner. And see for yourself what difference it could make.
It happened again yesterday. In the middle of my presentation, the laptop just had to "hang" ...
Does that mean I had to "hang in there" too?
My events management experience said "No!"
My acting background said "Never! The show must go on!"
Having the audience to wait, watching you fix the laptop/ situation is a "Big, Big Sin", as far as presentation is concerned.
What to do if such thing happened?
Step 1: Take a deep breath! If you can inject humour, you can say something that, "Oh! I have forgotten to give my laptop the vitamins for the day, thats why! <and shakes head looking at the laptop>" This is actually to "buy" time to think what to do next, yet the audience is still engaged with you!
Step 2: Switch on improvisation mode - ie look around in the room and see what can you do/ use to facilitate and continue the presentation. For me, it was back to basics: Grabbed the marker and looked at the empty whiteboard.
Step 3: Recall your notes. If we are presenting, what ever presentation we are giving, we should have our content with us already, and can "vomit the content out" anytime ... That is why, there is a saying, "Content is King". And I would like to add, "Embrace the Content, and you'll look like a King." Audience will appreciate you more.
Step 4: On the whiteboard, draw mind-maps of the topics you are presenting; or write the topics in point forms - whichever way you are comfortable with etc. That will serve as a "visual aid" for the audience; and also to "buy" time (again! but who cares, coz you are STILL engaging the audience!) for your mind to structure the "alternative" way to present.
Step 5: Continue Presenting!
Hope these quick tips help! It had definitely helped me!
I just love to play....especially when I am stuck for ideas.
So yesterday, I decided stop work for awhile and play one of my theatre-games, which I use in my creative-thinking and teambonding workshops, - but this time via the Facebook platform.
The Rule was simple:
1) Anyone can take part and contributes with a short phrase (between 4-7 words) and ends the phrase with a "..."; and then post it on this wall.
2) the next person will continue the sentence (in a new post) and start with "... <followed by a short phrase> ...";.
3) You may also end a phrase with a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark, so the next person who continues will need to start a new phrase with a capital letter.
Person 1: One day, there was ...
Person 2: ... a little boy who likes ...
Person 3 ... to eat ice-cream.
Person 4: He buys the ice-cream ...
Person 5: ... at Giant Supermarket ...
4) This will continue until...well..we'll see how it goes.
I compiled the phrases, did a few adjustments and minor editing, and presto!
Once upon a time, while Ronnie was in the toilet, a big fat lizard appeared and smiled at him while making soft chattering noises.
Suddenly, the light went off.
Ronnie looked around and saw another lizard. he lizard say, “Hi!”, when suddenly, there was a knock on the toilet door.
"Are you done yet??" Said the voice.
"Nope, I'm in the dark..."replied Ronnie."Halt ! Who goes there....?"
Bam! Scratch! Preeetttttt!
Strangely there was a blue ant glowing and it brightened the dark toilet. Then, came another lizard which stuck out a neon green tongue at Ronnie.
And Ronnie went, “Yucks! I thought I saw a hand in the mouth of… jamban baik!”
“Wait! Hang on! It's a crab!”
‘Hong kan liao!’ thought Ronnie.
Ronnie started to shiver and his heart was beating through his chest and he said, "Aaaaaaahhh, finally it's out!"
Suprisingly, he still shivered, so he struck a pose and said, “Isn’t it amazing how poses can relief stress?”
He continued, “OMGeeee! Look at my Nose! I wanted it to be like Brad Pitt but the doc made it to be like Hazriq Idrus!”
"Hoi! You there inside! How long already?! People also need to pangsai leh," said the voice.
"A little bit more!” said Ronnie.
Just like Mr Softie from 7-11, it was a soft, liquidity mixture - the final blast!
And Ronnie then smiled with relieve.
Thanks to my FB friends, it turned out awesome! I always believe in collaborative efforts because every person has his/ her own strengths.
So who says that too many cooks spoil the soup?
A collaborative and creative effort. You guys rock! Thanks to the following contributors:
One of the ways to engage the audience in your speaking event/ meeting is through activities. And there is none other than playing games.
In the recent wedding event at Hotel Re! which I hosted, we played the "Passing Game". It was fun and everyone laughed their hearts out.
To play this game, what you need is:
1) A small item that can be passed around easily (eg a small ball)
2) Have enough quantities. If you have 5 sub-groups, just ensure that each sub-group has 1 item.
3) Music - preferably with faster beats
How to Play:
1) Announce that once the music is played, the item needs to be passed around within the group. When the music stops, whoever is holding on to the item would need to come the stage to do "something" (which you will keep a secret)
2) Play the music
3) Get the item passed around within the sub-groups
At this time, anxiety increases because your audience will try to "avoid" holding on to the item and quickly pass it to the next person.
4) Abruptly stop the music
At this time, the crowd will go wild; for whatever reasons. You can call up those people to the stage to do the "something" which you will announce.
If you are playing this game whether in a meeting setting, or at a wedding event, remember to reward the participants with small tokens (eg chocolate bars).
Give it a try and share your experiences!