Mama mia! – not paintballing again!
Peter R. Hainsworth
Corporate team builders are desperate for new ideas to replace the tired old paintballing and picnicking routine, HR departments normally plump them for and Oleg Petrov, CEO of the ‘Creative English’ project, reckons it’s about time someone came along and shook up the market…
Oleg Petrov, toastmaster, is one of those atypical, unique persons, in Moscow business life who views English language culture as a means to achieve professional and personal aims whilst having—wait for it... bloody good fun.
Oleg told us about his brand new “Creative English” project— a scheme which is a logical extension of his status as a major player in the corporate hosting and teambuilding scene.
“Allow me to introduce myself, he says, my name is Oleg Petrov and I am a professional Toastmaster & Master of Ceremonies in Moscow, Russia.
“I have been a Toastmaster/Master of Ceremonies for several years at many varied events. I served for a number of years in The Armed Forces of Russia, retired as a captain in 1993, having different military decorations of UN, Russia & Cuba.
“I have experience in many types of functions specializing in Weddings, Dinner Dances, Prize Presentations, Nightclub & Private Parties, Family Events, Corporate Functions, Conferences, Official Openings, Charity Events, Product Launches; Award Dinners etc. Having a good command of English, some knowledge of Portuguese & Spanish, I’m popular and respected at international events in Russia and abroad.
“Now I am looking to share my knowledge of the profession, to which I have devoted my life, in the context of improving the systems of media training and teambuilding in Moscow, through creative means.“
“Here are some points to consider about creative English; it’s not only a program to help people who wish to dive without danger into the ocean of the English language, it is 100% a team building activity or training. Creative English is a remedial device, or in other words, a flexible instrument, influencing corporate policy, personal career, and interpersonal relations, in a natural way. A certain cure for routine-induced paralysis of the creative spirit, waking people, shaking them up from the lethargy typically induced by hierarchical and didactic teaching systems. Creative English permits us to knock on another door of our mind.
“During a creative English session, we give our guests all the necessary facilities; atmosphere, musical instruments, props, costumes, and music to enter the world of mimic-acting, based on a well know story or song, which becomes the script. Teachers and trainers are on hand to help. Rehearsals take place beforehand leaving presentation of the masterpieces for gala day, or on the spot, at corporate events during the dinner interval! The performances are then filmed and a DVD is given to the guests as a jolly memento. The team building activities which I call a ‘Pygmalion business structure’ inevitably grow out of our creative trainings.”
It’s a measure of the irrepressibility of Oleg that he wanted to talk about his creative English project and the corporate hosting and teambuilding scene in Moscow, despite being on the verge of hallucinating, having just come back from a trip to Paris, toasting an event for TNK/BP, where he’d been knocked sideways with a touch of European bird flu—he was more than willing to expound on his vision to have CEO’s up and down the land, don an ABBA wig and let it all hang out, in the name of cohesion, ‘intra-communication’ and bonding. Mama Mia!
To sum up. All you need is open mindedness, willingness and a fancy wig to enhance your presentation skills and develop your confidence. Who knows? The next huge success gained by your company might be down to the inner Elvis in you. Thank you very much, ma’am.