I was in Boston last week delivering training to a Corporate Client I’ve worked with for several years. It was the first time in a very long time that I forgot my signature prop.
It wasn’t until the night before when I was solidifying the master timing for the training that I realized I forgot them. It was one of those weeks where I was juggling several projects and the only way to stay focused was to just think about the next thing I needed to do.
I remembered the Chocolate bars I like to bring from Boulder for that afternoon low-blood-sugar time, but my props? I actually thought, “they won’t remember” and I wasn’t going to mention it.
Now you might be thinking, what the heck is a signature prop and why is it so important?
Well, the morning of the training is delivered and after the lunch break, one of the participants said, “Where are the toys?” for which I responded, “I forgot them.”
When I deliver Corporate training, I always bring toys to put on the table for the participants. They range from koosh balls to rubber tubes you twist to blocks you move to silly putty. I know what you’re thinking… “Does the ‘Corporate’ world actually play with toys?”
Well, first they see them on the table and wonder what it’s for. Then within the first few minutes of the training they are picking them up and playing with them. I do explain the scientific reason I bring them (to appease those left brain thinkers). When we experience attention-deficit during the course and we can do something else while listening (like playing with toys), we actually pay attention longer.
But the real reason I bring them is because they are FUN! They add color, lightness and play to the room. Toys are my signature prop because what I stand for is “Learning experiences that are FUN!”
I have been bringing toys to my Corporate training courses for the last 18 years and never once had any pushback. (I’ve even brought them to Executive Off-Sites I facilitate and while I may get a few skeptical looks in the beginning, they are using them within the first hour).
If you’ve seen me speak, you know I always bring bubbles for every attendee. That is my signature prop when I deliver keynotes and breakout sessions. When I train, it’s toys.
What’s your signature prop? What item, phrase, sound, song…reflects your signature and what you stand for? Your prop becomes part of your brand and how you know it sticks is when people ask for it when they don’t see it.
Take a few minutes this week to reflect on what your prop is or could be and include that the next time you speak, train or facilitate.
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what your prop is and how it reflects your values/brand in the comments below!
P.S. If you’re wondering where to get great training toys, I get mine at Trainers Warehouse.