"Here's the project vision and these are the desired outcomes"
This is a line you will hear quite often in meeting rooms and conferences. When projects are outlined, team members have to possess the ability to visualise outcomes. From envisioning product designs and packaging to new concept developments to consumer understanding, one has to be able to combine skills of imagination with knowledge and creativity.
How does one train to visualise better? Are there ways to develop imagination skills?
Theatre based training can enable visualisation and help participants understand the power of detailing, visual population and creative thought.
(Read the description below. Once you've finished, take 30 seconds and then scroll down to look at the questions)
"He is wearing a striped blue tie. The tie has the letters KC embroidered on it. There is a metallic pen in his shirt pocket. You can smell musk. You hear the words, "Are we ready for this?" There is a moment of silence. He pulls out his pen, opens it and signs a document. There is applause and he smiles jubilantly."
(Take 30 seconds now and imagine the scene)
Now that you have a visual frame of this event, try and answer these questions.
1. What was the man's name?
2. What was the colour of his shirt?
3. What kind of hair did he have?
4. How tall was he?
5. Did he have a beard?
6. Were there paintings in the room that he was in?
7. What was the shape of the table?
8. What time of the day/night was it?
9. What brand of perfume was he wearing?
10. Was coffee/tea served at the table?
How many questions did you have the answers to?
We often default to the stated observations; limiting ourselves by what is available and provided, hence not seeing the bigger picture.
By going beyond the obvious, by including what lies in the periphery – by imagining better, we are able to create a richer picture and a more compelling vision.
When the mind trains to process information as visuals, it enables individuals and teams to develop the skills to look at fine details as they are composing the image in their mind's eye.
By playing characters or by portraying a variety of situations through their bodies and voice, one develops the ability to quickly fill up visuals with information to get an idea of the bigger picture. When they observe fellow participants going through the same process, they understand the possibilities and the different ways in which an idea can be portrayed. This enhances their field of imagination and builds up their image bank, which comes in handy the next time they set out to visualise a situation.
Some situations where this could be of help
As a theatre maker, director and facilitator, Aruna harnesses the power of theatre in learning environments to improve communication skills, visualisation and storytelling abilities. With an MA in Theatre practice coupled with experience in Brand Marketing, she understands the demands of the corporate world and uses her theatre making skills to deliver the same. When she is not facilitating, she is directing actors, creating exciting theatre and painting.