Transcript Clip 5: Engaging Openings II: Stretches, Game of Thrones and Other Techniques

From: Power Up Your Teaching of Communication Skills with Techniques for Business and Performing Arts – Richard Snyder

Expanding What is Possible. Cognitively, Physically, Emotionally and Vocally. This is to address the issue of habit change. It’s like stretching before going running. In this case, it’s stretching people beyond their habits. For example, if someone is quiet and introspective and the topic is assuming leadership, we want to give them the experience of being big and commanding. That would be a physical expansion. Let’s try an example of a physical expansion.

Just in your seats and without looking at anyone else, make your face really small, now make it really big, now really small now big and relax.

Everyone stand up. Get physically small, now get big, now get small again. Now get even bigger, bigger than you would normally get. And have a seat. You probably have a habitual physical size. With this very simple exercise, you just got smaller than you’ve probably been this whole week and bigger than you’ve been this whole week. I want to take this one to an extreme (beat) for fun and (beat) to make a point. A little music maestro …..

Then do Game of Thrones coaching: (done to music of Game of Thrones)
King reviewing his people.
Waving to them.
Accepting their admiration.
Hold it in the silence. Enjoy it.
Stay big and relax your arms.
Now say to yourself in a soft voice that you can hear, “I am the King.”
Now say it loudly enough so that a neighbor in this room can hear you.
Now say it loudly enough so that I can hear it.

That is a physical expansion on steroids. We also did a vocal expansion and for some of you it was probably an emotional expansion as well.

Have a 2 minutes conversation about what it is like to do this physical expansion. If it made you uncomfortable talk about that. If you liked it talk about that.

Out of curiosity how many people enjoyed their Game of Thrones Expansion? How many found it too weird?

So here’s the point. If the students are looking uncomfortable and awkward, then we’ve probably gone to fast and too far. We can still get there, but we would have to take smaller steps. The second point you do an exercise and it was a hot mess, you can debrief that. “Have a conversation about why it is so hard to be commanding and to take charge.”

Let’s review how you can use engaging openings in your own work.

You can pick reveals from the four families. You don’t have to do all of them. Try just one and you’ll be amazed at what you gain with very little time. If you want to use Expansion Warm ups, you’re in good company. They are very popular. People have written text books on it. Here’s a couple of my favorites. Training to Imagine by Kat Koppet and Catch the Fire by Peggy Tailor and Charlie Murphy. There’s even an app for this. You can download Iprov in Itunes. Another great way to get an appropriate warm up activity is to have a collaborator such as one of the people I showed earlier and you can find them on this campus. “Hey, I’m doing a class on delivering bad news. Any thoughts on some exercises we could do as warm ups?”