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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0059| June 25, 2002
7,700 Subscribers


Skill

Facilitating Entertainment
 Hey, good parties require skilled facilitation too!


The Point

Have you ever been to a party or social gathering where you had the time of your life, and you didn't require a whole lot of alcohol to do so? You know the kind of gathering where you've felt engaged and involved in activities or within a special atmosphere that made you feel at ease and connected with everyone there? 

Do these types of events happen by accident or are they carefully orchestrated behind the scenes by some all knowing party wizard? I suppose either possibility could be true, but I also know from experience, that any group event, even social gatherings, can be vastly improved with a little planning and forethought, given not only to the logistics, but to the facilitation of connection and entertainment among your guests. This is an element that many party-givers leave to chance, and many gatherings go flat as a result.

So now you're probably waiting for my sage advice on how to throw a great party, right? Well sorry to disappoint you, but I'm an introverted, cave-dweller, what could I possibly know that could help you here? Let me see if I can make something up.

Example

Just last week I was asked by a close friend to do a "roast" for her boyfriend's upcoming birthday gathering that occurred this weekend. Now I've never done a roast but I loved the idea of doing one. Though I'm somewhat shy at times, I do relish the opportunity to be on stage occasionally and to be funny if I can somehow pull that off.

I searched the Internet in hopes of finding some tips on party roasting; those that didn't have to do with cooking animal flesh. I came up pretty much empty with the exception of a few one-liners that I could sprinkle in. I realized it would be best if I did this myself but not being all that well-versed with humor, I felt a little stymied about how to write humor. Though I can be funny at times, I usually fall into it by accident.

What I do know how to do however, is surrender to the creative process while holding a clear intention. Which was, to entertain with uplifting humor, using only minimal insults that truly related to the birthday boy. So, what I did was write a script that I would revisit often over a three day period to refine and collect ideas that would come to me throughout the day. And I picked up some props at the local thrift shop that not only added spice to the presentation but also inspired new ideas. It all came together an hour before the event and ended up being a big hit and a whole lot of fun to deliver, I must say.

So what's the point of this story in light of facilitating entertainment? My point is this. A good party, like any event you might facilitate, takes some planning and preparation up front. I was only a piece of the overall agenda which my friend thoughtfully compiled, coordinated, and orchestrated. An agenda that was invisible to most but that required planning for location, atmosphere, feeding, timing, etc. Just as my roast required the careful compilation of a script that didn't need to be rigidly adhered to but that contained plenty of material and structure that afforded me the freedom to improvise as desired. Was the preparation all fun and games? Not entirely. Was it free of struggle, like kicking back with a fine glass of wine. Not always. But the end result was well worth the effort, leaving the guests and the honoree something to remember for a long time to come.

Please email me your ideas for facilitating effective social activities. I'll email the entire collection to those who contribute.

Action

This week, think of something you can do to make your next social gathering more rewarding for all concerned. I'd love to hear you're perspectives and experiences. Please email your comments to us.


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About the Author: 
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by Jerilyn Ross

Are Panic And Anxiety Running Your Life?
Learn how to take control with this ground breaking program.

As seen on...

&

Millions of successful people suffer from anxiety. Beneath the polished image of professionalism and self-possession often lie deep insecurity, anxiety, and tension that detract from the quality of their lives.

Anxiety disorders are treatable and whether you've suffered with one for two months or twenty years, research shows that up to 90% of people receiving appropriate treatment can and do recover. Phobias have biological, sociological, and psychological components and are neither your fault nor the result of personal weakness.

Internationally known therapist Jerilyn Ross brings her hands-on recovery program to audio and videotape for the first time. Now, you can experience the benefits of Jerilyn's program at home privately. The program is usually run at The Ross Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders in Washington, D.C.

Freedom From Anxiety is a comprehensive self-help program that includes:

  • Sixteen audio sessions
  • A one-hour video showing Jerilyn working with real clients-not actors-in unrehearsed practice sessions
  • A 120-page workbook and resource guide
  • A wallet-sized card listing eight sure-fire techniques to manage panic attacks anytime and anywhere
  • A pad of homework sheets to record and monitor practice sessions
  • A squeeze ball

As you work with the audio sessions, watch the video, and complete the corresponding workbook assignments, you will learn to manage your seemingly out-of-control thinking and behaviors and reclaim your life from the grip of anxiety.

No matter how fearful and alone you feel now, no matter how much social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive thinking or general anxiety have interfered with your life, you can live a normal, happy, productive life again.

This program has been thoroughly tested and is designed to give you all the tools, techniques, and resources you need to live the way you want. Live fully, successfully, and in control.

Everyone has anxieties, fears, and worries. Many are normal and often necessary. They help us avoid dangerous situations and motivate us to be responsible. Others are non-productive, they interfere with our daily lives, they hold us back from career, family, and social responsibilities, and they wreak havoc with our self-esteem.

Freedom from Anxiety will help you gain control, no matter how much anxiety and worry you feel. As you experience the program, you will learn to manage your thinking and behaviors in such a way that you find yourself calm, relaxed, and at peace with your life.

In her practice, Jerilyn Ross has worked with hundreds of people - including Willard Scott - and helped them experience the joy life has to offer and become completely free of the negative emotions that drag us down.

Freedom From Anxiety will help you learn how to:

  • Pay attention to your body's signals and halt the downward spiral of stress before it gets the better of you.
  • Understand and identify the issues that cause anxiety in your life so you can take the most effective steps to eliminate it.
  • Get back in control and stop catastrophic, "what-if?" thinking.
  • Refocus your thoughts and feelings so you can turn negative impulses into positive ones.
  • Let go of irrational fears and be filled with the calm assurance that automatically replaces them once you let go.
  • Overcome the fear of embarrassment so you face others with confidence, even if it's public speaking.
  • Use your breathing to calm yourself any time, anywhere.
  • Get the most support and compassion from the people around you.
  • And much more!
What's been said about Jerilyn Ross's Freedom From Anxiety:

"Jerilyn Ross is a pioneer in the treatment of people with phobias…She's helped me overcome my phobias, and she can help you overcome yours."
- Willard Scott, TODAY

"I had been living with social phobia since I was 13 - that's nearly 40 years…After completing treatment at The Ross Center I felt as if I were let out of prison. I have a whole new life…I am so grateful to you and your staff."
- Martin C., Fort Lauderdale, FL

"After going to about 10 different doctors I was about to give up, thinking I must be some kind of hypochondriac. But after seeing you on Oprah I learned that the terrifying symptoms that often wake me up during the night are caused by panic disorder."
- Jeri M., Marina Del Rey, CA

"I couldn't even drive a few blocks to take my kids to school…fear took over my life…Thanks to The Ross Center I'm back on track again - driving, shopping, enjoying life!"
- Kirsten K., Charlotte, N.C.

"I cried when I read your book…that was me you were describing. I thought I was the only one."
- Sandra A., Miramar, FL

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Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on July 2, 2002.   


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