Course notes

16th January 2004 at 00:00
Sara Brown, governor at Varndean school, Brighton, finds she can whisk up a lot of fun at short notice

Course Zen with comedy, by Gerry Maguire Thompson.

Provider Positive Comedy (

Venue Komedia Theatre, Brighton. June 2002.

Cost About pound;40. Paid myself.

How did you find out about it?

In the theatre publicity.

Why go?

It sounded so enticing, I couldn't resist.

What did it promise?

It didn't say very much - I didn't know what to expect. Perhaps meditating?

Did it deliver?

It had the essence of Zen, but was also an absolute laugh. It gave me loads of confidence and an awful lot to think about.

Highs and lows Gerry was a skilled facilitator and he gave very detailed and positive feedback - and uncovered deep issues about learning, but in a lighthearted way. Plus, he never made anyone look foolish, even though we were making fools of ourselves. It didn't matter that we didn't get any lunch, because we were concentrating on the course.

Message, motto or mantra Relax! If you're calm and confident you will succeed.

Best advice I had to talk for three minutes about the engineering wonders of the mechanical whisk, with one minute's notice and a whisk as a prop. I realised people listened better if it was fun. Making what I said interesting was more important than getting all the points in the right order.

Has it made a difference?

There's often tension in governors' meetings - we don't know each other that well. This taught me to take a deep breath and allow people to relax and reflect, to allow the tension to blow away like a puff of wind.

Coming your way?

Positive Comedy runs workshops and coaching for individuals and groups.

Tel: 01273 206000 or visit the website.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today