In November 1978 I attended the NAR convention in Honolulu, HI and auditioned to become an RS instructor. Using Lou Tice’s techniques, I went to the audition room the day before so I could pre-visualize the audition and mentally prepare. This was most valuable because I discovered that it was a very small conference room containing a table of five instructors who would watch me.
I spent the evening visualizing a calm, relaxed presentation and a positive outcome. When I entered the room and gave my presentation, I was relaxed and comfortable. It went very well and a short time later I received one of my favorite letters - the invitation to join the ranks of CRS instructors.
For the next fourteen years this group would prove to be the most powerful and lasting influence on my seminar presentations. I was humbled by their power and motivated by their skills. I learned how to develop material, support points, conduct workshops, manage role plays, deliver within allotted time frames, prioritize content, create visual aids, control and manage seminars, and interact with other instructors. There isn’t a minute in a seminar today that I can’t reflect on some specific skill I learned from one of my fellow instructors.
The early RS courses included three instructors: a workshop leader, junior instructor and a senior instructor. As we moved through the ranks we all got to be both mentors and protégés. Every course day ended with a critique session in which we would evaluate each other. I was able to hear honest, specific feedback on how I performed. It was my very first critique session in which I heard my most painful critique from “The Don” of RS instructors, Del Bain.