Most of us don’t think of ourselves as being on stage, but we are.  My office has large windows that face a street with lots of foot traffic.  A few months ago, an acquaintance commented on how much they enjoyed the flowers I had on the conference table … made the office look very warm and inviting.   They had NEVER been in the office.   My business was staging an experience 24/7 for anyone passing by.
Each of us stage experiences.  The question is are these experiences designed or accidental?   For those wanting to improve the experiences they are staging, here are a few thoughts to get you started:
1.    It’s not about you.  This is important.  Broadway performers do what they do primarily FOR the audience.  Their focus is on taking the audience on a journey.  Actors will tell you their task is different every night with every audience.
2.    Begin with the client, patient, guest or customer.   You need to begin with an understanding of what your audience wants from the experience you are offering.  I am not talking about specific tasks such as their dinner order taken or their food cooked.  I am at a more global level.  Experiences are inherently personal, but at least start with your generic client.  Think of completing this sentence: My clients are seeking a __________, _________, and __________ experience.   What words would you use? Quick, efficient and friendly experience?    Competent, safe and confidential experience?   Quirky, edgy and fun experience?
3.    It is how they feel when they leave.   As you reflect on the 3-word experience you believe your clients are seeking, turn to how you WANT them to feel as they leave.  Go for 3-words again.  I want my clients to leave feeling _________, _________, and _________.   This set of words may have you adjusting what you just wrote down for #2.   These need to be aligned.
4.    Your job is to provide the experience THEY are seeking.   If you have determined what they are seeking and how they leave feeling, then list specifically what you are doing to support these outcomes.  Be as detailed as you can.  List what you are doing and include the props you have on your stage to support you (e.g. flowers on the conference table.)
5.    Rinse and repeat.  Each experience you stage should start fresh.  Great actors often refer to each night as “opening night.”  We have all had the awful experience of a service-provider going through the motions.  It is all about starting with #1 with each encounter.
Break a leg!

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