Bespoke poetry workshops for businesses
Poetry and stories, performed like classy stand-up, can really transform a business event and even help to solve a business problem.
This is because the performance and its contents lifts the audience into a new context – the space for thought is re-enchanted – and people find themselve energised, motivated, released and delighted.
- For AML Benson Financial Services Limited I devised a course in assertiveness and poetry to improve relations between staff members.
- For the Architects’ Annual Mass, I performed a set of poems and stories in the Hogwarts-like environment of the Westminster Choir School Library on the theme of beauty, ontology, aesthetic ambition and Calamity Jane, which brought laughter, reflection and hope.
- For Tom Giannini Architects, I provided entertainment at four successful Open House Parties and this time included flamenco guitar from the wonderful Hammad Baily. Every letter that thanked the Practice for the Open House, mentioned ‘the Bard’ and the creative and joyful atmostphere. The practice was highly pleased with the work that the parties helped to bring in.
- At the Teacher Training Development Agency I was commissioned to write and perform a poem for the head of advertising (with a bit of an opera theme thrown in). It was a much appreciated celebration of a successful staff member’s leave-taking after a highly effective and quirky campaign.
- At the National Occupational Therapy Managers Conference on the ‘Management of Change’, Sarah Myers and I performed our 1 hour show for delegates, which included true tales of transformation. This matched their conference theme – ‘Change’ – and encouraged people to talk about real experiences, heart to heart. Delegates were relieved that the conference therefore escaped the trap of bland slogans and management speak.
- For Merryl Lynch, again with Sarah Myers, we performed ‘Microwave Man’, ‘The Lifestyle Store’ and ‘The Hermits’, for a senior network programmer who was leaving for New York. This performance later provided much needed food for thought for the high status executive in question after he was a witness to the 9/11 tragedy. He wrote to tell us about his experiences and actually thanked us for the context that our performance had brought him, years afterwards.
- We also entertained the Senior Trainers of Time Management International at their summer school and received a standing ovation. They then recommended us to a somewhat unexpected client – The Air Miles Technical Team.
- We particularly enjoyed the beauties of Combe Manor where they were meeting for their team building weekend. We hadn’t expected to perform under a genuine moonlit casement and they hadn’t expected poetry and tales to enliven their discussions of the complexities they encounter in their work. But dealing with complexity and paradox is what so much poetry is about.
“There is little time in this outer world for deep questions. Given the right plan, everything in this life can be managed – except your heart. The heart seeks not efficiency, but passion, art, poetry, beauty, mystery, ecstasy – these are what rouse the heart. Indeed, they are the language that must be spoken if one wishes to communicate with the heart.”
What I have seen during my years of writing and performing is that an intelligent heart leads very quickly to a truly intelligent mind. For the two are one.
Find out how your business event or party could be made more creative and memorable by calling Sarah de Nordwall on 07849 641 899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org