I would argue that one of Burn Bright’s greatest strengths is the level of engagement we get from the young people we work with it. Without engagement and investment, even the greatest of content will fall on deaf ears.
Essentially, engagement = ability to impact.
So with that said, here are the 3 secrets that we teach our facilitators to achieve the level of engagement that we do.
Music = Mood
If you have ever seen or been a part of a Burn Bright program or camp, you will most definitely have seen how extensively we use music to not only engage the young people we work with but also to set for mood for the desired learning outcome we are working towards. As they enter the room/hall/auditorium the music we play is very often the young person’s first experience of Burn Bright, so it is essential we get it right.
The most challenging thing about young people and music is that the trending music is always changing, and if you truly want to engage young people you need to be able to demonstrate that you are up to play with the latest releases as well as knowing the “classics” (important note, there is a difference between what you and I may consider classics to what a young person considers a classic! e.g young person classic = All Star by Smashmouth).
Whilst this may all seem a bit daunting or feel like an added chore, Burn Bright has made public all of its music that is used in programs for anyone to use. We have organised our music into playlists such as Hot Right Now, Crowd Pleasers, Chilled and High Energy so that they are easy to use and implement into everyday situations.
Burn Bright Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2IQ3p0p
Authenticity = Respect
Understand this. Whoever you are, no one has ever lived your life with your particular challenges, possibilities, flaws and talents. ‘You’ hasn’t been attempted before, and yet we often feel the need to portray the image of having everything figured out – yet, not only does this attitude offer ourselves an extreme disservice but also the people we interact with.
Wherever we present ourselves, whether it is email, text, social media or in person we constantly challenge our facilitators and staff to be authentically themselves. We believe imperfection is truth, being yourself is empowerment and to display self-confidence through demonstration.
Admission of being not okay, understanding that you may not know all the answers and being unashamedly ourselves not only generates respect but also gives the people we surround ourselves with permission to do the same.
Personal Stories = Relatability
Stories. Stories, STORIES! Stories are like a flight simulator for the mind and provide the key
link between theory and real world implementation. There should never be a moment where we deliver a piece of content without tying it all together with a personal story.
By telling personal stories related to the topic or learning outcome, we not only open up the opportunity to show the importance and how we live out this topic but also allows the students to relate on a personal level. If we can’t demonstrate and live out the things we talk about we should not be delivering that piece of content.
The most basic structure of telling a story with a purpose is taught to our Burn Bright facilitators as this:
- Background – build context
- Story/point – what happened
- Learning – what did this show or teach you
- Relate – why is this learning important to the audience
- Key message – tie it back in with the learning point/key message