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My impression of Theatreworks


Elisa Cairoli, Customer Success Manager at Adobe, talks about her impressions after taking part in our Theatreworks open courses.

I completed my second Theatreworks open course on Influence & Rapport within six weeks of the first course, Personal Impact –  and can highly recommend them both. A colleague of mine had heard about Theatreworks and encouraged us to take part for our personal development

While intrigued, I was a bit nervous and a little sceptical about how theatre-based training was going to help me in my job working with clients. Despite this, I was still looking forward to the course and interested to learn.

I ended up doing the Personal Impact course on my own and joined my colleagues for the Influence & Rapport course just over a month later. It turned out to be a happy accident. I enjoyed the anonymity of not knowing anyone in my first session and was able to digest what I learned, apply it, and take it with me to the second open course. I made sure not to share too many details of my experience with my colleagues. I wanted them to experience the day as fully as I did – feeling present and in the moment, rather than waiting for certain things to happen.

I had never thought about the fact that my role of managing client relationships, and stepping in to help with client projects, was like being in front of an audience. After the first session, I now realise that it is. Building my confidence levels to be more at ease in group situations takes practice, but is achievable. Even if it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to me.

A woman in a grey cardigan and black top smiling and standing in a room

Elisa Cairoli in a Theatreworks session

Being more aware of my body language – especially posture, voice and breathing –and their effect on my sense of presence and confidence were all things we worked on. I adopted these as ‘quick wins’ after the Personal Impact course. As an example, between the two courses, I had a meeting at work where I felt like I was under the spotlight. I was nervous ahead of time and unsure of what to expect. But I was able to practice the voice, breathing and movement exercises I learned in Personal Impact and they calmed me down. The meeting went well.
This awareness and these skills gave me a sense of gravitas that I was able to bring to the Influence & Rapport course. I approached the second course with excitement and confidence. Rather than the nerves and scepticism I experienced the first time around. This outlook helped me to push myself and get even more out of the second session.

Influence & Rapport was less about the language of theatre and more about applying these skills to real-world situations. Thanks to the facilitators, we were given the chance to immerse ourselves in scenarios we were struggling with. We experienced the emotions, blocks and frustrations in a safe space. The immediate feedback from the facilitators and other participants was hugely helpful. We were able to apply what we learned on the spot and practice. Their unbiased, honest feedback was useful to take on board and really made the course stand apart from other training programmes. We all learned from each other’s struggles and were able to see situations from different viewpoints.

Both courses improved my confidence and have given me a variety of techniques that will equip me for thriving in all facets of my job. I’ve been sharing my experience and singing the praises of Theatreworks with my colleagues at Adobe, encouraging them to use their personal development budgets to take part.

Theatreworks open courses are available throughout the year.

Book your place on a Theatreworks open course here

All photographs by Emma Hare.