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The creative process, Part 3

By on August 28, 2013

One of the biggest challenges when trying to create a memorable event is to get your hosts to deliver a message with strength and passion, as a team and inline with the developed concept. As your preparation is impeccable, your concept well maintained, the winning conditions put in place – the onus is now resting on the shoulders of your hosts.

They can, through their charisma and preparation make your event one of the best ever. On the other hand, an unprepared host can ruin two months of work in under 10 minutes.

We could compare it to a movie. Even if the script is amazing, the scenes are magical, the technical team is exceptional, it is the actors who make movie history. So you’re like a director. You have all the parts on hand and you must assemble them to manifest your concept, a masterpiece that touches the audience and gives your leader what they need  as well.


Existing  myths

In creating great events, there are several myths that need to be broken to complete your project.


# 1 – The technical aspects will make me look good on the day of the event: Nothing could be more wrong about a great event. Although a telepromopter can do miracles, it will never have the ability to make a corporate message clear, flowing and touching. Employees will not be fooled. They know when something is being read. They feel when somthing is real.


# 2 – I do not have to prepare, I know this stuff inside out: Another myth to debunk. Speaking before a crowd is not the same as speaking in a meeting room. The environment and atmosphere can destabilize even the best host. Anxiety sets in and words are hard to find. There is no magic in communications. The best communicators are not people who communicate spontaneously, the best are people who practice, practice and practice. They became masters of process the content is at their fingertips.


# 3 – I only have a small speech, I don’t have to practice: Sometimes, one sentence, well expressed with passion and intensity can make all the difference. A short statement has the power to change our perception of the company and those attending. The exercise should be taken seriously.


# 4 – People are used to me. I’m just going to circle around the theme: What tenacious myth. The challenge is big : creating a great event is more than a simple act of communication. It is an expression of the leader’s desire to inspire the audience and convey an emotion, an idea to change the company. It’s not by skirting around a theme that we can accomplish this.

If, during the process, you get into this kind of conversation, it is essential to reaffirm the leader’s intentions. Sometimes requests are not related to the actual intentions. Does the leader really influence the group to move forward?

If your challenge is to bring commitment from your hosts, here is an approach to help ensure the success of your project.


# 5 – Empower / involve your hosts

The project makes no sense if the host is not involved in the development process. The process of creation cannot start without their responsibilities / obligations being clearly established. Motivate your hosts by sharing visions, choices and opportunities. They must invest, participate and understand the role they have to play to deliver an outstanding performance.

There will be no success for your event if people do not develop their share of the project team. Be firm about schedules. Call out those who do not participate despite your requests. Do not carry the weight or the burden of responsibility for the success of the event. It is the hosts who carry this responsibility. By not investing in the creative process, they may not be taking the project seriously. Everyone must play a part.


Another basic rule : the day of the event, everyone should rehearse. Book times in advance. Do not accept limited availability. People must assume their roles. This is not a simple meeting. This is a memorable event. A half-day of rehearsal is really not too much to ask to get an important idea across to the organization.

Do not hesitate to get feedback on your hosts sequences, texts and on the key elements of the staging. They can then share their ideas about the project and you will be able to guide and support them.


# 6- Empower /develop your communicators

Everyone has something to learn. Even the best speaker. It is not just teaching people to communicate but rather building a team, instilling a concept to convey the message with strength, passion, emotion and intensity. As creator / director, you are the best person to help your hosts. Your role is to gather all this creative energy to achieve the common goals.

You are the leader of your leaders. You’re more than a viewer of your leader’s speech . You are the project’s communication leader who wants to work with a series of stimulating visual and audio elements, to instil a strong, meaningful  message into the heart of the audience.

If you want to succeed, you are the only person with the overview of the message and the vehicle that will pass it along. You have to lead, guide and advise. You know what it takes to get an idea across. You must empower your hosts do their job. More you support, the more they will appreciate. People need to be advised, guided and oriented when part of an event.

Feel free to pass your comments about their approach, tone, movement, expressions, pauses, looks. Your feedback will help you get the best out of everyone and create a memorable event with far-reaching effects.


# 7- Measure results / Perfect your concept

Like any creator, we are committed to our concepts and stage show. However, remain open-minded. Question the concept throughout the production. If you recognize that any of your ideas do not support the leader to get their message across, you will be ineffective and you risk getting the best results.

The key is to make reality checks. When you start your idea, there may be a gap between vision and reality. It may be that the concept does not work as well as expected. All artists and designers have experienced this situation at one time or another. You must have the humility to change what does not work into something that does.

Also establish quality criteria to measure your creation. By having them on hand, you’ll be able to quickly improve and create an even more successful project. Here are some frequently found criteria:

– Clarity of the message: I can place the key message of the evening into one sentence

– The emotion: I feel something when it is said

– Sustainability: The message delivered is memorable

– Impact: The message encourages action, change, etc 

The more you judge your creations, the better your events will be. Not only that, but each dollar invested will provide additional beneficial effects for the company, not to mention the way your services will be valued and probably retained.


In Conclusion

The success of any great event rests on the ability of its creators to inspire the communications team to deliver an outstanding performance. It is by empowering, enabling and evaluating your hosts and concepts that you will be able to send messages with true power, passion, emotion and intensity. You have the ability to make your events historic by becoming directors and advisers for the highest caliber management teams. With your creations, you can become a key player in the development of the culture of your company.


Marc-Andre Routhier, Consultant, coach and Support, Studios IMASUN.  (514) 933-0869

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