How many times (this week!) have you sat through a meeting and wondered “when will this be over?”
We’ve done it at least 6 times already and it’s only Thursday! Which is why we’re bringing you a practical improv technique that few people talk about – ending the scene. Sure, we talk about clever ways to be brave and start something new. But what about wrapping it up? Here are a couple of things that we know are true about audiences (and meeting participants). They all want one of these 2 things to happen:
1) A good cliffhanger
2) A happy ending
The cliffhanger has an element of suspense that leaves you hungry for more action. In meeting terms, it means stating a quick recap of the meeting and then a clear list of action items. This gives the team something to focus on & enjoy accomplishing before the next session. So they’ll actually look forward to the next scene.
The happy ending is all about resolution. It’s the congratulations on a job well done, the finale of a detailed status update or a dance party for the last 5 minutes of the meeting. Wait, maybe that’s just how DuMore Improv does it. Either way, happy endings bring relief to the crowd who just sat through an exhausting hour of conflict or critical thinking. We promise, you’ll get a round of applause.
Remember, you can be a great scene ender whether you are the leader of a meeting or a participant asking questions that get you to a resolution. Next time you lead or attend a meeting (tomorrow?!), think about how you can help end the scene in a way that gives satisfaction to your audience. Don’t forget to practice your best ta-da bow!
This technique also works for parties. Thank you all for coming!