Using actors in learning and development situations is a powerful way to embed learning.
Our professional business role players know how to improvise, maintain credibility and find an appropriate level of behavioural challenge to stimulate that learning.
We invest time in creating a safe world in which to experiment, which we invite learners into. We stress that we are the ones doing the acting, and that usually, learners are to be themselves.
Through the simulation, and with the benefit of carefully tailored feedback, learners can reflect upon their attitudes to topics, discover more about their behaviours, tune their skills and define their authenticity.
We encourage learners to practically apply new concepts, finding their own approach to the skill or process being discussed or developed.
Roleplay encourages reflective learning, offers alternative perspectives and provokes insights to be tested.
This experiential approach creates profound learning and is named regularly as the best part of any programme of learning.
We use actors and role-players in the following ways:
This technique is most often used for working with an individual in a small peer group, to practice skills. This approach is highly focused and as close to ‘real play’ as is possible. We support it by offering insightful feedback. Conversations can be paused, re-started and rewound to analyse successful and less successful behaviours and to illuminate and embed learning.
The content can be a pre-scripted scenario, it can relate to psychometric profiling under discussion, or it can be bespoke and personal, with our agile actors creating a relevant challenge live, as defined by the learner.
A forum style presentation is an excellent way to introduce a topic for examination, and as such can be an effective opening for a conference. As part of a mix of activities a forum event introduce actors into the environment to gain the confidence of learners:
In a forum event, short prepared scenes are acted out by our team and watched by the learners. Managed by an experienced facilitator, the scenes are then re-wound and replayed in a stop-start manner so that alternative suggestions, demonstrations and comments from learners can influence or change the outcome of the situation. Humour coming from the recognition of behavioural truths can be a great energiser to the event.
Hotseating allows a small group of participants to work collaboratively on one scenario. Learners take turns to interact with the roleplay actor, often picking up the conversation where their colleague has left off. This technique is particularly useful when groups are working to the same aim, when it is desired to give many learners the experience of role-play and when peer support will add value to the session.
These simulations encourage learners to interact with pre-defined characters in a fictitious free-play scenario and to deal with the consequences of the impact of their behaviour. Actors respond by improvising ‘in character’, which in turn affects the development of the simulation. Lasting between 4 and 48 hours, actors can be situated in a training room, live in the environment or via telecoms links. We have significant experience in developing such encounters.