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How theatre can help your business presentations and events run on time

Are you grateful for some activity or subject you did as a kid that proves to be very helpful later in life? Sport? Music? Some part-time job?

For me, my involvement with High School Musicals has proved to be very valuable in my latter career as a communication consultant.

TB HS musical

(High School Musicals! I’m in the green shirt between two great teachers. One teacher is  standing on a box!)

Yes, I was a “Musical Nerd” – yet the theatre “tricks” and stagecraft I was taught really helps me help businesses these days with “business-ey things” such as:

  • roadshows
  • business meetings and conventions
  • helping business presenters deal with nerves or “stage fright” when facing large crowds
  • improv techniques when facing questions in the boardroom or in front of the media

This post focusses on how theatre can help with a common business problem – getting things to run on time and avoiding “wasted time”

Do you see this a lot? At an business event – there’s so much “wasted time”  and delay while people get set up for their presentations – especially in change-overs between different presenters.  Equipment doesn’t work. The presenter gets frustrated and frazzled. The “audience” gets restless and you “lose them”!

Imagine if that happened in a stage musical – where sets have to be changed!

Usually, in a stage show –  a curtain just opens and the new scene is ready to go – the set has been changed, the actors are in position and the show carries on seamlessly.

Set changes and lots of activity are happening “behind the scenes” – but usually the audience is focussed on something else – a “smaller” scene in front of the curtain (covering up the set change) or off to the side.

TB Social Media KLT

When I consult  and coach to help business people present smoothly I often look at an agenda and look for potential problem areas where we need to create “diversions” or activity to keep the show going.

Let’s say you have many business people who are presenting business updates:

I encourage my clients and I encourage you to:

1. have all the various presentations loaded to one central “already connected”  computer OR

2. if people are presenting from their own computers – establish a pattern of presenters moving “to the side or to the front” for a Q&A session while the next presenter gets connected and ready to present. OR

3. have the “facilitator” have other things to talk to the audience about (other information to share without the need of the computer and slides)

Also, have you noticed the “wasted time” at events where presenters or speakers make their way up to speak.

I encourage clients to have the hosts or MCs or facilitators have information about the presenter and to say something like:

“While X makes her way to the stage – let me give you a bit of background. X has…..etc”

TB Salad Days Musical

(Look at those groovy, far-out threads! Very Greg Brady! 🙂 )

Some kids at High School  used to say being in musicals was “sissy”. I always thought it was a smart move – to meet girls 🙂

Little did I know the stagecraft and planning would also be so helpful in my later career!

In business as on the stage – the show must go on.

Try to make it go on smoothly!


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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.



Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing etc.   I  like to help people COPE.



One comment on “How theatre can help your business presentations and events run on time

  1. efangelist
    January 6, 2015

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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