As humans, we’re better together. An ancient proverb puts it this way: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Today there’s no better way to stay sharp than a small-group speaker coaching masterclass.
In the first post in this series, you saw why masterclasses can be so effective for growth. Today we’d like to offer the first two of three strategies for maximizing your masterclass experience.
We’re 4 weeks away from the first MOXiE Masterclass (only a few more days to secure your early applicant discount!), but the techniques you’ll find here will apply to masterclasses everywhere. Since folks are most familiar with in-person workshops, we’ll draw our examples there.
Strategy 1: Enter ‘expecting to be transformed’.
A few weeks ago, Fia was at the HQ of one of the world’s largest media companies. She was leading an all-day workshop for the marketing department, responsible for advertising and branding some of TV’s hottest shows.
It was a large group, and the air was skeptical. “We’re marketers,” was the feel in the room. “How can performance techniques help us in our daily work?”
How that sentiment changed as the day progressed!
Here’s what the group found. We’re all performers. Every public act of persuasion requires performance.
This group was responsible for pitching shows and movies with some of the biggest Hollywood names attached, and yet they’d never even considered practicing their pitches!
“We don’t rehearse. How could we? These aren’t formal presentations,” said one woman.
Her supervisor, who was also part of the small group, replied:
“Now I’m thinking we absolutely can!”
And in that moment, their work was transformed.
We take two lessons from that experience. The first is that the more we look for revolutionary moments, the more we find them.
At first the group had a hard time believing that their work demanded great performances. But once they saw how easy and powerful it is to become a better speaker, their entire outlook changed.
Reticence became excitement.
Now, in truth, the entire workshop was packed with practices that could revolutionize their work. The breakthrough moment came during a conversation about rehearsal. But how many more lessons were missed because of that initial skepticism?
Insights flow into open minds. The more we expect to grow, the more growth we’ll get.
The second lesson is that in small groups, transformational ideas can come from anywhere.
In this case, it was encouragement from peer—in this case, a team leader—that really unlocked the group’s understanding.
Thankfully, in MOXiE’s masterclass, your boss is nowhere to be seen… and often that’s just what’s needed! But in every case, we find that peer leadership and encouragement is just as vital as one’s relationship with mentors and group leaders.
That brings us to…
Strategy 2: Lean on your peers.
What could be better than gathering smart, strategic thinkers—folks who share your concern and your values—to help you solve your most pressing problems?
We saw in the last post how useful it can be to gather ideas from peers. Why are we smartest when we’re smart together?
Philosophers and neuroscientists have been studying this “wisdom of the crowds” phenomenon for centuries. Take a bunch of people, quiz them on a tough question, and together they’ll do better on average than any single person. What’s true in guessing the weight of a cow is true for stock market valuations.
It works on a principle called “local knowledge.” Knowledge is local because nobody knows everything. Someone can be a subject-matter expert in one arena but not know how to tie their shoes. But pair that expert with a cobbler, and suddenly the two are smarter together than they were just moments before.
The same force is at work in a masterclass. Pull together like-minded folks; give them an expert (Fia in MOXiE’s case) to shepherd their conversations; ask them to solve the problems they share. In conditions like these, the group will outperform the success of any one person, guaranteed.
If you’d like to use these strategies to unlock your speaking potential, click here to claim your early applicant discount.
We challenge you to find 12 weeks more transformative than the Speak with MOXiE Masterclass. Spaces are filling fast for our exclusive 2018 program led by Fia herself!
There’s just one more successful strategy to consider; don’t miss the final post in the series!
Onward and upward,
President, Moxie Institute