BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 02 NOV 2012


Some things are best done in the dark. Watching SkyFall, sleeping, morris dancing.

Training, facilitating or speaking needs you and your audience to see the light (yes, that is a blindingly obvious metaphor).

Arriving in an outstanding training room high above London this week- large, flexible, good tables for a horseshoe, ample breakout space, tech-help, coffee, lunch- I was introduced to two electronic contraptions designed to make the life of a scribbling speaker easier. A cross between a Sportsbar's television and a dentist's chair, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum dominated the space. In fact they all but destroyed the space.

The full tutorial explaining what these chunky chaps could do is unnecessary but I can tell you what, essentially, they were: flip-charts. Massive, immovable, ugly, eye-wateringly expensive, electronic flip-charts.

I used the old-fashioned flip-chart, which I'd asked for. They only had one in the whole place. If I had wanted to copy what I had written- something the terrible twins could do by some magical silicon chippery- I'd have to find a way to do it involving my mobile phone and some typing. Not exactly rocket science.

The most hilarious aspect of all this is not the barking mad over-engineering; it's that it all has to be done in the dark. When I was given the MAGIC PEN to have a go on Tweedle Dee I made the point that this was all very nice but no-one, me included, could see much. The solution? Close the blinds. You could not invent a dafter notion than a client paying loadsa money to get a speaker in the room, or expending huge marketing effort to haul 30 clients off their sofas on a Tuesday, then sitting them in the twilight zone, without popcorn. (I'm pretty sure I got a quick flash of Mulder and Scully as the blinds buzzed shut.)

When I am persuaded to partake of the daft nonsense that is SkyFall I will be quite glad of the dark; sleeping is a favourite pastime and there's an outside chance of some snogging with The Snip.

But when I am one in front of many during the day, darkness is the enemy. There lurks disengagement, passivity and sly checking of mobile devices; all without the chance of a snog.


Don’t miss out on weekly updates from our blog to motivate and inspire you to become a Rainmaker. Subscribe now!


about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

Recent blog posts

Blog categories