Where Comedy Means Business

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Tel: +44 (0) 7966 175 530


WHERE COMEDY MEANS BUSINESS

1-DayWorkshops...

 - are they a gentle introduction to the exciting world of speaking in public or just an exciting and challenging day packed with humour and laughs with supportive, like-minded people? 

Virginmirth have been running workshops since 1997. Based on our considerable experience of running comedy workshops, and performing stand-up comedy, we’re now developing a new series of speaking workshops for absolute beginners and the petrified!

Some feedback…

Examples of feedback we have received from participants on our Workshops.

"If it wasn't for the Virginmirth Workshop I really wouldn't have found the courage to stand up on stage and I'd still be talking about doing it. I was so nervous about even doing the workshop that I went out and got very drunk the night before to take my mind of it. So you've helped to turn a coward into a stand up comedian and I've really enjoyed myself" 

(This person is now a 5 STAR Award Winning Edinburgh Festival Comedian with his own show who performs internationally)


"Very friendly environment, which I think was a brilliant aspect of the workshop, and made doing my material much easier"

"Incredibly helpful...mega useful...I feel encouraged and elated" 

"Very supportive, extremely useful, and has given me the confidence to make the next step"

"A hugely entertaining and fun day" 

"Great confidence booster" 


"really left me on a high"


"I learned so much"


"It was a lot of fun and I feel ready to get some open slots now"


"Gave me the confidence I needed to actually give it a go"

    

Marek & Alice are Virginmirth. Read more about them on the About page

I’m terrified!


Some people are terrified even at the thought of attending the friendliest Workshop never mind actually speaking in front of an audience.

One of our  workshop attendees didn’t show up - we found out later he had driven the 4 hours to get to our workshop venue, walked up to our front door, stretched out a trembling hand to knock…then withdrew it and drove all the way back home. He wouldn’t even accept the refund we offered him, blaming himself..

We believe that if that poor guy had credible, unbiased information in advance to tell him what it’s really like in a workshop, what you’ll probably do there, how best to prepare, etc, he would have knocked on that door, had a great time and - who knows - perhaps gone on to speak in public with confidence!

The TOP TEN reasons why people enquire about speaking workshops but haven't yet been…


1) I'm far too nervous to speak, even at a workshop


Many people go along to workshops feeling quite scared of speaking, even in front of a small group who all feel exactly the same, or are afraid of criticism of their material. In fact, it's often the most confident people that have the most to learn.


The best Workshop leaders do understand how nerve-wracking it is to speak in public, and that's precisely why the best  workshops are designed to be challenging, fun, yet ultra-supportive.


Virginmirth believe that the best way to allow your natural speaking talent to shine through is by positive encouragement of everything you do o that is working for you, while gently suggesting improvements to make it even more effective. In that way you will naturally develop to your full potential in a safe, nurturing atmosphere.


In the world of standup comedy, we have seen the most famous comedians on TV and on the circuit often extremely nervous off-stage before they start to feel the warmth of an appreciative audience and reap the rewards of having developed a finely honed act. So keep that nervous energy - it's an indication that you realise you still have something more to learn, which will keep you sharp and help you develop even more quickly, as well as providing you with a performance boost just when you need it most.



(2) I don’t have anything to speak about


It's a simple fact that everyone, each and every day, has personal experiences that can be described in an engaging manner, and can provide a strong foundation for an interesting or informative talk, when structured in the right way.


Furthermore, most workshops include improvisation games, which can also be used as a source of inspiration at any time after the workshop. It's actually an advantage to understand the structures of a good speech before you've written a great deal of original material, so that your writing naturally accords with the styles that get a good response.


For most workshops, you need only have a maximum of three minutes of material, and you really only need just a few observations to appreciate how best to create solid material, now and in the future.


(3) I'm very interested, but I'm not quite ready yet


It's great that you recognise you are still developing, bear in mind that a workshop is not a test, just part of the educational process. Early education will get you on the right track much quicker, and will make your investment in yourself that much more efficient.


People often come along to workshops on the spur of the moment, and have a great day. Remember that the more time you take before you come along to the workshop, the more it delays the start of your speaking adventures!


(4) It's too far to travel


Look for a workshop that makes it possible to get there and back in the same day. Some students choose to stay overnight in a local B&B. You can easily find cheap deals for overnight stays. If you book in advance, you can get huge savings on train tickets, bus tickets, flights and car hire.


(5) It's too expensive


Very few people who have ever been to a good workshop have ever said this! Looking at all that many  workshops provide, it really is great value compared to most other professional training, and everyone who's ever been tells us so. If this is the sole reason you won't come along, you probably aren't taking your innate  talents very seriously. Once you've got over that, you'll soon realise that the investment you'll make in time will far outweigh the investment you'll make in your workshop.

And remember - if you book in advance, you can get huge savings on train tickets, bus tickets, flights and car hire.


(6) It's too cheap - where's the catch!


Sometimes workshop participants wonder why they are charged so little. Many Theatre-based workshops don't feel it's right to charge more than most people can readily afford, even though the kind of knowledge and experience they share with you is quite rare and not usually divulged. They also usually aim to have a certain minimum number for each workshop, as the interaction between the participants is a significant aid to their progress.


(7) My material is not quite ready yet

 

Your material will never be 100% ready - and anyway, the whole idea is to introduce you to the concepts of speaking in public BEFORE you've written all that material, to save you having to re-write it! Nobody comes along to  workshops with perfect material - if it was perfect, they would already be speaking in public!

You will honestly learn far more from finding out early how your material could be "tuned" than taking months or years to create the perfect speech which you later realise could have been so much better with a few crucial insights.


(8) I'm not interesting enough for people to listen to me


While it's certainly true that not everyone will become a top speaker it's equally true that many, many people will never develop their latent speaking skills because they allow negative self-talk to stifle their potential before it can bear fruit. Basically, you won’t know until you try. And, you WILL end up more confident than you were before. Everyone has a unique perspective and if you allow that to emerge, people WILL listen.


(9) I don't believe I would ever actually speak in public

 

Coming along to a good workshop doesn't commit you to anything except having a terrific time with people just like you, whom you'll come to know as friends (fear is a powerful bonding mechanism!) by the end of the day.

The facts: most people who come along to a good workshop go on to speak in public.  But nobody feels pressured to do so, and everyone comes away from the workshop with a real sense of achievement.



(10) I'm afraid I'll be too successful


Some people feel deep down that if they were to discover a talent for speaking inside themselves, they would be forced to change their lives and that represents a frightening prospect.

Rest assured that no matter how terrific you become you are, you can simply speak when and where you choose, without committing to a professional career as a public speaker. You can also exhibit your speaking talent in many other ways, within your business activities, or to become more and more entertaining with your friends.