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a blog by Chris Barrow

Bladerunner 2049 failed to attract enough attention – so where does that leave you today?

Another hugely enjoyable Practice Plan workshop with Sheila Scott yesterday in Maidstone.

It’s the second time we have delivered “Top Hats, Toast and Moments of Truth” and another steep learning curve on how best to grab and maintain the attention of our audience.

I feel for the audience at a full day gig – imagine going to see a movie that lasted from 09:30 to 16:30 – Hollywood struggles to capture us for a couple of hours.

You would expect the audience to get fidgety and bored at the very best film. So to with a full-day workshop.

We read this week that Bladerunner 2049 has disappointed in it’s first week at the box office and that an estimated $150 million production costs raised a mere (!) $35 million in tickets sales from launch – a possible disaster for the makers.

Arguably one of the best films I’ve seen for some time – and yet, perhaps, too intellectual for the mainstream audience – aimed at a cult following who were always going to sign up – not so attractive to a younger audience who didn’t “ooh” and “ahh” when Harrison Ford burst onto our screens and messed with our heads in the original and groundbreaking Bladerunner and don’t want to have to think too hard as they down their nachos.

Now I’m not comparing Chris Barrow and Sheila Scott to Harrison Ford and Sean Young (and the Tour is sold out – boom!) but there is an interesting parallel when one considers the “cult” followers built up by myself and Sheila over 20+ years and the new generation of dental team members who might, at the start of the day, be wondering who these two mature individuals (nicely put CB) are at the front of the room and how they are going to keep my attention?

What we’ve discovered is that our morning session has no trouble getting and keeping attention but that, after lunch, it gets progressively harder to maintain the energy levels in the room, partly because everyone has had a splendid lunch, partly the accumulation of heat (the air con struggled yesterday) and finally because the audience have recovered from their initial surprise at our approach and have settled into a comfort zone.

So Sheila and I were discussing after yesterday’s event, some ideas to keep everyone bouncing through that 15:00 dip – watch out Newcastle next week!

(don’t worry – role play will never be a part of the solution – I’m not a lover of ritual humiliation of people who didn’t sign up for it)

In spite of all this – we had 5 star feedback from the delegates again (thank you) and I have to say that we are having a blast, with 13 workshops still to deliver.

A moral to this tale for all small business owners, including dentists.

How do you maintain attention and enthusiasm with your team, day in day out?

The dangers of “same stuff, different day” are obvious and you are under much more pressure than Sheila and I to keep your audience engaged and entertained.

It starts with turning the morning huddle into a meeting to look forward to and not a chore – and then continues throughout the day. A huge challenge.

I’m looking forward to the rest of our Workshop Tour and, maybe, to The Practice Plan Tour 2049!

I wish you luck today, when you walk onstage at your practice and announce “it’s showtime!”

p.s. how do Chris and Sheila keep going at such a pace – are they replicants?……….

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