Training Is The New ‘LIVE’ Concert

Training Is The New ‘LIVE’ Concert

27 Oct 2015, Azleen

Last week was a hectic but fun week. I conducted training back to back for 5 straight days. And it’s amazing, I did not feel tired at all because sharing knowledge with dynamic participants in a high-energy workshop will give you more energy. There will be more workshops this week, next week and the coming months. Wow… I’m loving it.

You know why I like training?  Because I love sharing experiences, introducing new ideas, solving problems and networking.  It is also about “informing, educating & entertaining”.  And most of all I just love the attention – I didn’t get much attention when I was young, I guess.

I have been doing training for more than 20 years now and over the years I noticed that I can do better and better and it is time to DISRUPT the industry with a non-orthodox approach to training. My approach today is, I prepare for my training sessions to entertain people and give the same experience if not better than being at a LIVE concert.

Training is not just about facts, figures, graphs and theories.  It is about how we package the facts, points and messages in an entertaining way.

I tell stories.  At least 10 stories in one workshop and from each story the participants can see how to apply the concepts and strategies discussed in class.  For example in my Crisis Management Workshop, I share my experience as a journalist and editor covering various crisis situations.  In my Branding Workshops I share the steps I took to strengthen my clients’ brands.  It is about stories.

And just BREAK all those training rules!

Recently, when conducting a communications workshop for teenagers, I was told by many parents to get the kids to surrender their mobile phones or else I will fail in getting the children to prepare and deliver their presentations.  I told the parents, I will think about that.  

Here is the story:

The kids were given an assignment to talk about what it takes to be a “game changer” which would include how to impress others, how to pitch ideas and how to give good presentation in front of a large audience.

I had a tough time getting the kids to participate in the first 15 minutes.  Then I got a great idea.  One of the kids, Jack (not his real name) is addicted to his mobile phone.  He plays this game called Minecraft like 6 hours per day!!!  When I asked him what he will be presenting, he said “I don’t know”.  His mother said, he is the quiet type who plays with the phone most of the time – an introvert.  But when I looked at him, I said to myself “This guy is brilliant and he might just create a big surprise in class”.

Guess what I did…  I said “Jack, I have an assignment for you.  I am 53 years old and I don’t know what young people today are playing on their mobile phones.  I have heard of this game called Minecraft.  Your assignment for today is to make me a good Minecraft player by 5 pm!!”

Suddenly Jack started writing on the huge Mahjong Paper – lots of Mahjong papers on Minecraft.

He rehearsed his lines and by the end of the day he was not only a good speaker, but together with his friends, they sang a song a cappella.  Not bad for an “introvert”.

There was also a girl in the class who loves anime.  She seriously wants to be an anime artist.  So I told her, convince me in a presentation that anime can be a good source of income.  She not only drew beautiful pictures.  She used the pictures in her talk and gave a great presentation.

Another teenager in the class loves to play basketball.  He was quite slow in forming sentences.  During lunch break I went to the nearest sports shop and bought a basketball.  And I told him to use the ball as a prop to help him present.  And he did very well – talking smoothly while dribbling the ball all around the class.

At times, we prepare good power-point slides, but there will be times we just have to abandon the plan and go with the flow – and that was what I did with the kids.  And now the parents are asking me when the next session is as they want to send their kids for the next module.    

Recently on BFM Radio, I heard an author who talked about distractions and why a bit of distraction during work and training is good.  It will make us more creative.  I agree.

And I implemented just that in my recent workshops.For a slight distraction, I now sing during my training when the energy is relatively low. I also do a bit of “stand-up comedy”.

And based on the feedback forms – THEY LOVED ‘THE SHOW"

Now, I am seriously thinking of getting a band to accompany me when I sing during the training. Because distractions worked! And training is about Inform, Educate and Entertain.  You will learn more when you have fun learning.

Disrupt.  Change the rules.  Innovate.  And lead the way.


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