Dig, if you will, this picture: You’re sitting at your desk, thinking about how to improve information chunking, and you notice the walking, talking embodiment of workplace drama rapidly moving towards you. You immediately imagine John Quiñones lurking somewhere nearby and prepare to respond appropriately to the hidden camera test about to start.
How might Carrot Top, world-renowned prop comic and Vegas resident, fare as a learning and development professional? Would the zany onslaught of chips, dips, chains, and whips (figuratively speaking) contribute to the learning objectives or distract from the seriousness of the session? The immediate response is, “It depends. I’d always keep it professional.” While that’s true, let’s explore the boundaries of props in a professional presentation. I don’t mean flipcharts and whiteboards. I’m talking about toys, costumes, canned goods, and the occasional water balloon. In regards to props, do we take ourselves to seriously?
We all should find an audience that looks at us the way Dr. Beverly Kaye’s audiences look at her. There’s no greater thrill than attending a session or presentation delivered by someone who is at the top of their craft. I love watching the audience light up when an engaging facilitator creates an environment that connects the dots.
As corporate trainers, many times we are asked to facilitate a session for a department or group outside of our regular audience. Your boss Marc strides into your office and asks you to do the “Time Management” workshop for the team in Albuquerque because “The folks here in Vegas saw real results since the session you did last quarter.”