There are many dedicated trusted and trained actors working in business training who invest in their careers to develop continually. These types of actors are not just great performers with a talent for bringing situations, personalities and behaviours to life; they are also knowledgeable in business, the art of training and enjoy interacting with others.
Incorporating Actors into your training approach allows you to do more than simply demonstrate both good and bad behaviours; they breathe real life and humour into those situations. Actors create a powerful, emotional experience for your team, which instantly internalises the learning.
People feel safe participating with Actors because they are playing a role, say an angry customer, and are not actually that angry customer. It allows them to analyse, seek to understand and safely try different ways of working out a positive resolution. In addition, Actors bring fun and a spark of electricity to the training room! Beyond just making it a more enjoyable experience people are more comfortable working on complicated and sensitive human interactions. As a result, you can safely get to the root of challenges and produce real change.
Tips on using actors in your training
- Not all actors make great business actors
This is a big one, it takes a special actor to be able to work in the business environment, make sure they have the following: –
- Experience in the corporate world, this is important as your participants wont relate to them and they wont have the empathy required to play characters that represent your people.
- Good communication skills and awareness of others, you need them to not only act but also build trust and rapport with the participants. They need to be able to leave their ego at the door and focus on what is important in the training room.
- Improvisation skills, not all actors can do this and it is essential if you want to run bespoke role-plays for instance where the participants work on their own case studies.
- Enthusiasm and resilience are essential, as the job requires endless energy and focus.
- Keep briefs simple and avoid jargon
If you want your actors to play realistic and believable characters you need to give them information that is quick and easy to read and learn, focus on what is key to the role. You need to do as much work for the actors as possible so they can focus on the behaviours, which is what it is all about.
- Avoid lengthy scripts if possible
Unless its really important that every word is said in a certain way, it involves many actors or its for a large conference, my advice is to story board scenarios and then let the actors improvise around them, it will be much more natural and real. You will need to allow for some rehearsal time though.
- Share your learning outcomes
Actors are a great support to you and your learning outcomes but only if they know what you are trying to achieve in advance. They can gear feedback towards yours and your participants needs and help with input as most of them will have years of experience of working with trainers and come across most models and concepts.
- Put participants minds at rest
It can be a daunting prospect working with actors if it’s a first time, so take the time to explain to participants how it is going to work, get the actors to introduce themselves and explain the value of drama in training. Start gently with demos and scenarios they can observe and give feedback to from the safety of their seat. Never force someone to do a role-play it is always counter productive. You don’t have to include role-play if it’s not right for your audience.
- Enjoy it its supposed to be fun
Working with actors is a really enjoyable experience, you have more energy in the room, people to bounce ideas off and they are a great support system, Be warned working with actors is addictive, when you see the faces of the participants and how they interact with the scenarios its hard to run soft skills training without them.
DTS can supply business actors for your own internal workshops and give advice and training for your team on how to make the most of this powerful resource.