I had a lot of fun training a design team at Microsoft in how to use some subtle and approriate humour in their presentations today. Ever the creative forward thinkers they were keen to learn new communication skills from the comedy business to reinvigorate their presentation skills. I taught them how to use the range of stand-up skills I've adapted for the business world to make their engagement with clients more memorable, interesting and more effective at getting their message across. It was a really rewarding day.
This gorgeous swanky room complete with incredibly comfortable leather armchairs and anything else you would need to present to clients was our training room. It's right in the centre of the beautifully designed Microsoft offices in Paddington. The whole extraordinary building was full of light and space with a lot of windows instead of walls. The canteen was in a triangular room with floor to ceiling windows. If you stood in the extreme point of the triangle (and you were not too scared of heights) you could get an incredible view across London. I have to admit I tried it.
The team were all very welcoming and happy to show me around their incredible space. There was an actual table tennis table and a mad exciting collection of "things," including a huge orange fridge, a massive gold mirror and a cinema size touch screen that is apparently very "Minority Report."
They were a brilliant creative team of lovely people. Their presentations at the end of the training day were excellent too and they all nailed using humour to reinvigorate their client pitches. It was completely fascinating to spend a day inside the surprisingly warm and welcoming innovative giant that is Microsoft. I'm really looking forward to going back to do some more training for them in the summer.