Any advice for newbie Battledecks participant?
March 4, 2015 12:07 PM   Subscribe

I've volunteered to participate in a Battledecks competition at an upcoming library conference. There's a twist this year, as we're doing is as a team (well, duo), which makes it even more of a challenge. Any suggestions from folks who've done this before, or from those with improv experience? My partner and I will have some opportunities for a practice/dry-run before we head to the conference -- help and thanks!
posted by crepeMyrtle to Grab Bag (3 answers total)
 
God I love BattleDecks. The good news is that at most library conferences people haven't been doing it for a decade so they're not all slick and smooth with it. I did it once at a non library conference and it was easy because I just talked about library services which made everything hilarious.

So if you are working with another person, think about

- who will go first which will be setting the stage for the rest of it. Think of a few vague concepts "The end of ebooks" "There IS such a thing as a stupid question" "Style tips for fashion forward librarians" or similar
- how racy or non-racy do you want to be (this is often a good way to get people loose and laughing but if the two of you are not on a page with this it can get weird)?
- a few loose themes that might work for your general attitudes/outlooks. Like you may want to play good librarian/bad librarian throughout and alternate slides but also perspectives. Hamming it up and pretending to be someone else is always fun and can help you be less nervous.
- a good quote from Ranganathan to wrap everything up "As Ranganathan says 'the library is a growing organism'" can be super hilarious over the right slide.

You might want to practice by looking through some of these super pro Battle Decks (one, two) to get ideas of what might get pitched your way. Tina Fey (and other improv-ers) will tell you about the "Yes, and..." approach so just make sure you loosely understand that so you and your partner don't talk the other one into a corner. Here's a good short thing to read about that.
posted by jessamyn at 3:25 PM on March 4, 2015


Response by poster: Thanks for all that helpful advice! I love the "good librarian/bad librarian" trope -- I'll share this with my partner. I'm sure we'll have a ball.
posted by crepeMyrtle at 7:49 AM on March 5, 2015


Response by poster: Update: my partner and I won the Battledecks competition! We were the only team who alternated our slides -- which was great, because we each had "first bite at the apple" for our slides, instead of having one team member always getting the easy joke because they were first one to comment. That worked nicely, and we could still chime in on each other's slide, if additional comments were needed. And we both got cool handmade capes as our prize. Thanks for your suggestions -- Imma do it again, I'm sure :o)
posted by crepeMyrtle at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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