Tango and the Art of Workshop Presentation
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My Blog

Tango and the Art of Workshop Presentation

Tango Caress photo by Deborah Henry-Pollard of Catching Fireworks

Do you ever think that although you can do creative thinking, you can’t do business thinking?  This is something which comes up a lot with my clients.  I always think that although there are, of course, certain things about which you should be aware as a freelancer / self employed / small business – tax, cash flow, legal responsibilities, etc., these are tools and skills which can be learnt from good basic business books.  However, your creative talents and attitude can be key to how you approach the business side of your practice.  

As an example, I run workshops, often with The Good Witch of the North, Diane Parker.  In the past, I would write the whole presentation down so I would know exactly what was going to happen every minute.  Now obviously, preparation is very important because unless you are advertising yourself as an improv performer, you can’t expect people to pay to watch you making it up as you go along.  However, writing out every word did not leave a great deal of space for interaction and the joyous, spontaneous insights which often come out of workshops.  

I knew this was a problem and tried to solve it by going down the business thinking route, such as reading a book or going on a course.  But the answer actually came to me when I was dancing the Argentine Tango recently.  This is something I love doing, something which is essential to my well being.  One of the key elements of the tango is that although there are individual steps which are learnt, how they are put together is completely improvised, based on factors such as the connection you have with your partner, the music and how much room you have on the dance floor.  

It suddenly occurred to me that this was my key to running workshops; the learnt steps are the essential preparation, the music is the structure of the workshop and my partner(s) are the workshop participants.  At the risk of sounding immodest, I am a reasonable dancer and being able to take the attitude and confidence of my creative dance skills and apply them to workshop presentation has completely changed my approach for the better.  

How could you use your creative skills to improve and enhance the business side of your practice?  

Have you found the answer to a business problem whilst concentrating on a creative task?

If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you,  check out how we could work together and get in touch.

2 Comments to Tango and the Art of Workshop Presentation:

Comments RSS
Dr Ray Batchelor on 03 August 2012 15:27
What you write here makes complete sense, Deborah - and you are an excellent dancer!
Reply to comment
Deborah on 03 August 2012 16:05
Many thanks, Ray!

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