CASE 'Taivex' - The internationalisation of Finnish art and culture
Over the late spring and early Autumn of 2010 AJAN had the wonderful challenge to work with a series of highly skilled individuals from the world of art and culture on the topic of Creating the Compelling Case: in other words, selling your ideas in an inspiring way and positively influencing those around you.
Delegates ranged from publishers and agents from the literary world to producers and agents in the performing arts, all the way through to curators and directors of museums and exhibition centres.
To sharpen the pitching skills for professionals in the literary, visual and performing arts' worlds: to help them to convey the great stories of Finnish art and culture to the international audience.
There are many obstacles to delivering a clear and structured message but like most things in life it's about practising, preparing and believing. Our delegates had the challenge of packaging their messages into short, succinct presentations - 15 minutes being the standard meeting time at international book fairs and 5-10 minute being the allocated time at 'speed dating'-style networking events that are increasingly popular at art fairs and exhibitions. Therefore snappy, clear and compelling introductions and elevator style pitches were on the menu.
The second key challenge was a cultural one: increasingly Finnish art is sold and promoted to - or financed by - international cooperative partners, so an understanding of how overseas contacts process information and communicate was an essential component of the learning.
People learn best by ‘doing' so we took a very practical approach to the training. Delegates were able to work on an upcoming pitch and fine tune their delivery using a series of tools and techniques to sharpen 1) The structure of an effective message 2) The content - what to include and importantly what to leave out, and 3) The delivery - how to convey the right meaning and to convince, and how to build rapport and credibility through non verbal communication. 4) The approach towards international audience and the cross cultural considerations.
The delegates then practiced in small groups and finally in front of the entire team. The quality of the balanced feedback throughout the 2-day workshop helped the participants to turn their rough diamonds into polished gems.
"Working with AJAN Consulting has been a pleasure. Annika and Nick are true professionals who know how to coach people to do their best and beyond.
We in TAIVEX admire their enthusiasm and dedication. Workshops for TAIVEX have all been very well planned - AJAN really puts a customer oriented education to a new level.
Friendly and down to earth atmosphere in the workshops created an environment where learning has at the same time been very effective and fun. Feedback from our customers has been outstanding. Like one producer summarized after the workshop: "I didn´t only learn how to make a great pitch, I learned a lot about myself too". The feedback for AJAN was immensely positive and inspiring with specific mention to the practical nature and the fun atmosphere of the course".
-Nea Leo, Taivex Project Manager and workshop participant
We are looking forward to the next programme schedule in early 2011!
Annika and Nick