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The Role of Acting & Role Playing in Training: Training Directors' SIG Recap

Sunday, February 26, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesus Diaz
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The first Training Directors' SIG meeting of 2012 was held on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 200 Park Ave, NYC. The presenters for the evening were Meg Anderson and Robert Fass, from Role Play Done Right which offers "Professional Skills Practice for ‰Û÷Dramatic' Results."

Meg and Robert introduced us to the use of professional role-play for hands-on skills development practice for adult learners. Before a live demonstration, they set the stage by discussing the many varieties of these uniquely effective experiential learning tools that we can use in the development of new programs as well as in existing training initiatives.

Robert & Meg stressed that adding role-play demos, or skills practice, or simulation to training isn't adding superficial bells & whistles for entertainment value; it is in fact a profound driver of results.  They walked the audience of learning professionals through the three main types of role-play that are used in training programs.

Simulation, Forum Theater and 1-2-1 direct improvisations:

  • Simulation aims to simulate reality in great detail.  Actors interact directly with participants, stay in character, and are well rehearsed. Simulation is the most extensive type of role-play interaction.
  • Forum Theater is a demonstration conducted by the actors with participants as the audience.  Groups of actors combine scripted presentation with audience Q&A and/or "redirection".  The actors role-play with each other while the participants observe & offer feedback.
  • 1-2-1 direct improvisations are a transparent approach in which it is clear that the actors are actors.  The participants can be given scenarios, or a choice of scenarios, based on typical challenges they face in their jobs.  The role-players are prepped for these in advance.  Alternatively, the participants can be assigned to bring their own real-life scenarios.

Meg and Robert's presentation involved real interaction with the group which started with a Forum theater demonstration between the two actors who reached out to the attendees for feedback before trying the role-play again, and ended with acting out a ‰Û÷live simulation' with one of the attending Training Directors to demonstrate its usefulness and impactful effects in training.  Overall, it was an excellent and engaging session leaving us all wanting more time with these professional actors.

If you would like to know more about ‰Û÷Role-Play Done Right' please contact fellow ATD NY member Meg Anderson at maanderson1@mac.com.


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