A multi-time AGORA visitor, an even more-time workshop presenter, Fabian Brüggemann is at it again. Get ready to join his “Improve yourself” workshops among the possibilities at AGORA Zaragozaaaaaaa. Just as the ideas he presents, Fabian also never stops improving himself. With 11 AGORAE behind him and 12 workshops done, he keeps learning something new. All this started with a brave attempt at a workshop given in AEGEE-Kyiv’s AGORA back in 2009. Now, Fabian travels from European Schools to Summer Universities and improves our AEGEEans all over Europe. Who knew that it can turn into a well-paid hobby. Let’s see what he has to say about it.
Fabian: I think four of them were not “Improve Yourself”, but also something HR / motivation / flash mob related. The rest were all connected with improvisation theater. The name “Improve yourself” started at Agora-Alicante.
How active will the workshop in AGORA Zaragoza be? Will each of the points presented come with a little game?
There will be about 10-12 games for the four points I am going to teach. Thus, each point has even more than one game to go with it.
Do you change your workshops from year to year?
Together with the participants, I also improve with every workshop I give. I do change the games and methods a bit and also exchange games for other games that fit better. However, the basic concept is still the same.
How do you as a trainer improve? Do you also attend some workshops or do you read more about the issue?
There are several things: of course the direct feedback in the workshop (e.g. the reactions to my explanations, how much the participants understand the message I want to bring across), but also very much the feedback later. After some time a participant might tell me “You know Fabian, in your workshop I realized that … accepting a certain situation helps to move on or being spontaneous and talking in front of people is nothing to be afraid of “. Apart from that, I’m also taking improvisation theater classes, which I’ve been doing for several years now. I also talk about the concept with friends who are experienced trainers and who give me quality criticism.
Yes, exactly. I don’t give them on a very regular basis, since I have a normal 40 hour job, but I gave a workshop like that, for example, at Siemens.
And AEGEEans have a chance to get it all for free?
Yes. There are two reasons for this. First, I started giving these workshops in AEGEE, so in a way it´s “giving it back to AEGEE”. But also, AEGEE is a great playground to try out new games and concepts, because people are very open for new things and, at the same time, critical, so I get good feedback. Actually, there is another one: it´s just so much fun that I don´t want to give it up.
Anything the participants should do/take to be prepared for your workshop?
Their level of English should be quite good, because some of the games are about language. As for the rest: no! They should just be open to try out new things, leave their comfort zone and have fun.
My goal is that the participants realize that they can actually DO the things they try: speak in public, be spontaneous, be flexible, be able to accept things as they are and make something out of that, be a bit more aware of what is happening around them and watch out for others. My goal is that they have fun at the same time as well as remember the things I try to teach them and apply the methods in real life. I also want to give them a positive way of looking at things – so that´s rather an attitude change, but that´s a very big goal for just a 2 hour workshop.
Sounds reasonable. Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
What might be interesting is the fact that at Agora Kyiv I gave my first workshop (about flash mobs), just to try it. So I used AEGEE as a playground to try something out – and I learned so much from it, that by now even companies come and ask me to give workshops! To cut to the chance: it is worth to try things out in AEGEE and make something out of it!
Thank you very much for your replies and good luck at the workshops in Zaragoza.
Written by Olga Volovyk, AEGEE-Kyiv.