Actors are an invaluable tool in bringing a learning event to life. And they do it in a fun and memorable way, making the session ‘land’ that much more effectively, creating a truly memorable learning experience.
We learn best by doing. This is exactly what our actors facilitate, providing a safe space for participants to essentially ‘rehearse’ and try things out. It’s a particularly effective approach when dealing with issues such as giving and receiving feedback, interview skills, EDI, values, dealing with difficult situations, honest conversations, workplace investigations, and other potentially challenging one-to-one situations.
Delegates can pick from a range of scenarios and play them out with one of our experienced actor/facilitators, who then give them focused constructive feedback that they can take forward into their real-life roles. Conversations can be paused to allow discussion, or rewound so different approaches can be used.
The backgrounds for the scenarios and the roles played by the actors can easily be tweaked to participant’s requirements. Maybe they want to have a conversation with someone who gives only one-word answers or someone who repeatedly interrupts them: our actors are flexible and work to ensure the conversations are as relevant as possible.
Sometimes we use existing scenarios, sometimes we can simply tweak one we prepared earlier, and sometimes we develop them entirely from scratch. The scenarios are all drafted by the trainer, in consultation with the client, and rehearsed with the actors, to ensure that they integrate seamlessly with the programme content and are fully aligned with the learning objectives.
For groups new to role-play and working with actors, forum theatre is a brilliant alternative. It enables participants to direct a live conversation between two (or more) actors, stopping the action and putting forward suggestions that can then be tried out. Participants can really get involved and steer a conversation to a positive outcome without actually having to be in the hot-seat themselves.
Forum theatre can also be very effective with larger groups. Company away-days, for example, where there’s a need to include a learning component around a new set of values or customer service or sales, can be immeasurably enhanced with actors contributing to a truly memorable experience.
Our actors are well-versed in virtual delivery as well as classroom. For organisations suffering from Zoom or Teams overload, a session supported by actors makes a huge difference to engagement and effectiveness.
Our troupe of actors is led by Adam Diggle. He’s an experienced corporate roleplay actor / facilitator who has been working in the industry for over a decade for a wide range of public and private sector clients.
He brings to life a wide range of characters, creating realistic and immersive roleplay scenarios, following this up with concise and focused constructive feedback to participants.
Adam also has a great deal of experience in facilitating group discussions and running drama-based training techniques such as forum theatre, hot-seating and thought-tracking.
Within the last twelve months alone we’ve used actors for some of our sessions with clients such as University College London, Isabel Hospice, Confused.com, South East Water, Campaign Bootcamp, Novacyt, Royal Academy of Arts, Dacorum Borough Council, Zeiss, Orchard Hill College & Academy Trust, Samarkand, etc, etc. We’ve even used actors in China to support delivery of our management development programme there, in Mandarin.
Response from participants is invariably positive and enthusiastic, as the following sample feedback comments show:
- ‘Good to work with the actors – it helped to get a real experience of interviewing unfamiliar people.’
- ‘They were all great! Actors were very convincing, found myself getting absorbed.’
- ‘Brilliant, and the use of actors (who were great) made it fun and practical.’
- ‘Actors were brilliant – it really helped to put it all into practice.’
- ‘Engaging – very good at maintaining attention and making the content engaging and exciting. Actors were a good addition to the experience and brought it to life.’
- ‘Brilliant session and a big thanks to Adam who was our actor and gave some fab feedback.’
- ‘Getting to role play with actors really brings the theory/learning to life.’
- ‘Gained some really good feedback from my actor.’
- ‘I found the actors very reassuring.’
- ‘Awesome guys, great acting and feedback.’
- ‘Victoria, who was the actor, was very lovely and we didn’t feel pressured.’
- ‘Actress very good and useful feedback.’
- ‘The actor was very good and made the role play scenarios easy to engage with.’
- ‘Very convincing but also provided some excellent tips and tricks on delivery.’
- ‘Josh was a good actor and was knowledgeable about different tips and techniques to help with crucial conversations in the workplace.’
- ‘Actors did well and gave a good portrayal of the issues.’
- ‘Actor was very good in his various roles.’
- ‘I thought the course worked surprisingly well on Zoom. Having the ability to just have the conversation between you and the actor with the other participants being muted and cameras off worked really well and made it feel a lot more like a genuine conversation. I also felt that observing someone else like that via Zoom also worked very well and made it a lot easier to see how other people deal with those conversations.’
- ‘Very engaging, highly knowledgeable trainers and also usage of outside ‘actors’ was very helpful in gauging a true response in a role play environment.’
- ‘The role-play session at the end was most valuable; often you don’t get a chance to put into practice what you’ve learned straight away.’
- ‘The use and explanation of outside ‘actors’ was a great highlight for me; it gave me a sense of real world scenarios and Aiste was massively helpful to bringing it to life.’
- ‘Really enjoyed the session. Role playing was great! A lot taken away. Thank you.’
- ‘The actors were a great shout, way better than trying to role play with colleagues.’
Bringing actors into our learning interventions adds another dimension to the programmes, heightens learning effectiveness, and can be surprisingly cost-effective. Tempted?? Give us a call on 01582 463460 to discuss how it might work for you.