Hi Bertrand, Diogo.
Welcome to the eventplanner.tv-studio.
Thank you for having us.
You're one of the headlines of FRESH conference, here in Turnhout. That's also why you're here in Belgium today.
Maybe we should start with: what are you going to do on FRESH?
So, thank you for having us.
We have a masterclass. We're going to do a masterclass tomorrow. On business improvisation.
What we do is: we use the applied improv-techniques. So, the techniques from improvisation theatre. And we apply it in a real context.
So, in this case, we are speaking about an event. And so, there's specific situations of an event, that happen. Such as: having to deal with the unexpected. Or: before having the event, having to pitch to sponsors. Or: dealing with customer complaints, after the event.
So, what we're going to have tomorrow, is going to be a very interesting and short sample, of what we can do, in order to respond to these types of situations. And also, on how to improve your natural skills on dealing with them.
Just before we started, I mentioned that, if I hear the word improv, I already get cold feet.
But Bertrand, you had the perfect answer for that.
So, that's exactly why we're not going to mention improv.
Okay, cut out this haunted word.
No, and truly, the applied improv is actually the use of the principles, and the techniques behind improvisation, in a different context. So, we only use that as a vehicle or as a tool to put you in certain circumstances. To actually test your reactions and to actually show you that you're able, very often, to have the perfect reaction, if you have been, maybe, a bit more prepared or if you have been training a little bit more. Or if you've been through some things. So, that's...
Is it then about showing people to have confidence in themselves? That they can do, what they thought they couldn't do?
Absolutely. So, confidence is a very important word.
We actually have a 5C-methodology. And confidence is one of the Cs.
Together with consciousness, which is all about being very observative, very...
Be very engaged with the moment. Know exactly what's going on around you. And be also very aware of what you can bring to the situation.
Then we also train people on communication and collaboration. So, how to present, speak, listen. As you know, communication is a two-way process. And it's very important.
Yes, people sometimes forget about that.
Sometimes people think: okay, I've said everything. Didn't I communicate?
Well, no, you didn't. Because, you don't know if people have actually understood what you said. And once you can communicate greatly, then you can collaborate. And it's all about trusting the group. And actually, sharing the power and all of that.
And the final C that we work on, which is also very important for event planners and organizers, is creativity. So, the different...
There's also different types of creativity. It's different if you want to, you know, do complex problem solving. Or if you want to have a very intuitive natural reaction. Or if that is the...
So, that makes all for the five Cs or five capacities that we train.
Yes, and like you said, Diogo: you adapt what you do to the specifics of.
For an event it's something different than for another company.
Yes, exactly. So, we...
There's always this discussion about skills, which are based on two different sets of skills: hard skills and soft skills, right? What we usually say is that we actually train natural skills.
So, how do you behave in a certain situation? What type of emotions do you demonstrate? What kind of resistances to change, you can actually see on the behaviour of that person?
So, when we are speaking with an event organizer. And when we see the challenges they have, on managing their teams, for example. On: people are resistant to change. Or: people are not following the leader. And at the same time, people are not autonomous enough to do stuff. That's probably because there's stuff there, in their behaviour, mutual between the leader and the teams, that are not working in sync.
And so, it's really interesting to understand, what's actually blocking them. What kind of vulnerabilities they have. What kind of not-self-awareness they don't have.
And in this case, when we do this with an event planner, is totally different, if we do this with an insurance company.
Like, for example, the other day, we were faced with a challenge of a team that was a commercial team. And then, they are now doing a totally different type of work.
Or when we did, for example, a workshop with sustainability managers, of different organizations, in which they had to behave as climate sceptical, which is very interesting. So, it's really interesting to see, how people put themselves in the shoes of others.
And one of the words that we were actually listing in this conference, the FRESH conference, is the yes-mentality, right? And the being able to say yes and to construct on the ideas of the other person. And to actually accept. And to bring a positive outcome out of it.
And an event, it's all about that, right? There's so many things that can go wrong, that you really need to build on that acceptance. So, that's one of the things we want to tackle the most and we want to, actually, emphasize the most on our masterclass.
But, I'm very curious now. What exactly will you be doing with those poor invited?
We can't tell you, otherwise we have to kill you afterwards.
The show will be broadcast afterwards, so they probably won't know.
No, so, as we said, we're going to put them in situations. Which can be...
We're going to ask them to react or to be...
So, it's a series of small games or plays, that you could do.
And we usually start with just a simple introduction. The beginning is all about making people feel comfortable. And completely at ease. So, they won't...
There's one important rule in improv, which is: in improv, nothing is ever wrong. We are improvising. We can do exactly what we want. And we can decide what is right or what is not. And we can create. So, people start to feel at ease. And by doing that, they also tend to drop their mask or their natural defences and become more loose and more authentic. And then we put them in situations. And it can be games where we create a chaos situation. Where you have to be very aware of what's happening around you, if you want to be in the game.
That sounds like something that could happen at events, yes. Completely.
It can be a game where you will be having a conversation or maybe more an argumented conversation. So, you have to convince somebody else. But with specific rules.
For instance, one of the rules we do, when we want people to try to have this "yes" or "yes, and"-attitude, is to say: okay, now you're going to convince your friend about something. But you cannot say no and you cannot ask a question to the other person. Because it's always this type of thing, when you're in a meeting, for example. There's always this "yes, but" or the "no, but"-type of answer. And what we wanted to avoid, is exactly that.
It's really: there's a lot of ways of argumenting and a lot of ways of you showing your point, but by accepting the other people's opinion.
And by the way, if you put your mind on that type of synchronicity, probable you're going to be more positive and your positive thinking is going to be always present. That's what we try to pass to the audience as well. And so, at the end of the session; what we do is: we do that eye-opening moment, where people realize they've experienced things or they've been able to react in a way that they didn't think was in them.
We try to, basically, open locked doors. Inside people, right. And we explain: look, in this situation, what you just did in this little thing. You can actually apply this in your day-to-day work.
You not only do the exercise, but also discuss what happens and what you can learn.
Of course, you know, we have a 1.5-hour masterclass. So, it's going to be a really short sample of things we can do.
When we actually work with a company and we do sessions which can be, sometimes, even during 3-4 months. Where we really try to embed some different cultures and different capacities. It's very important for us to do those...
At the end of each session, obviously, we do the debriefing. And explain to people how they can use these new techniques or this new way of reactions, that they've learned. But we also like to sit with the management, or the people that organize the training. Every two or three sessions. And say: how's it going? Do you feel already a different atmosphere? Or a different way of reacting in your team. So, for us, when you do a training and if you, you know, ...
If you order a training from a company, same as, actually, it is for an event, you expect to have a return your investment, right?
So, it's about, you know: I'm going to invest so much, what am I going to gain from it? So, for us, as Diogo explained: very important that our training is customized to the customer's specific situation. And it's also very important that we ensure that there is a return on...
And there is really application of what we've been teaching.
And I will add something on it, which is the fact of: if we are doing it, it's to add relevant tools for day-to-day. Otherwise, it's not going to promote any type of change. So, we can do it in two ways. For example, with event managers. We can train their teams. Or we can be embedded in their events, right?
And if we want to do this in a more sustainable way, and if we want to train the teams, the follow-up is very important. Because it's with the follow-up, that you actually see the change. So, we act as well as type of mentors. On the type of analysis of their behaviour. And see where the blocks are maintained. Where are the stuff that are actually improving? And always being very specific on: what is the C that you want to work on?
Because it's impossible to work all the Cs, at the same time. So, there is, for example, situations, in which communication and collaboration come together. There are situations in which your lack of consciousness, doesn't allow you to be as confident as you should be.
So, it's really important to be specific on the challenge of the person. And on the challenge of the team.
Okay guys, great. Thank you for coming over. Good luck with your session at FRESH, over here.
And you're obviously invited to come to our masterclass. And experiment for yourself.
No, I know what's going to happen.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.
And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.