13 years ImprovisationTraining/Performance
Over a decade of B2B Sales Experience
Experience working in media, real
estate, creative, recruiting and technology
Making my passion my work, infusing improv
and business experience offering workplace
training and professional development-
Atlanta Improv Events.
Misconceptions About Improv
Improvisation is comedy
Improv IS what happens when you live in the moment.
People who do improv must be funny
People who do improv , connect, listen, agree and add.
Improv is not for everyone
Improv IS for anyone, we do it everyday, all of us.
It can be difficult for those in the traditional workplace to wrap their
mind around improv. The business mind wants to have all the answers
and think about the future. Improvisers don’t dwell on the future. They
focus on the right now. If you focus on what’s in front of you right now,
the future will take care of itself. This concept is very difficult
for the business mind to grasp.
Using heightened communication skills in the moment.
History of Improv?
Modern Improvisation as we know it started in the
late 1950’s in what became known as the famous
Second City in Chicago. It is known as one of the
original training schools for improv, and is still
going strong. Among the talent coming out of
Second City Improv training.....
Improv and your career
Using basic improv concepts can help you grow personally
“The potential of improv as it relates to business should not
be undervalued. “Some people misunderstand improv…it
seems that improv is all about being funny. But it is not.
Improv is about being spontaneous. It is about being
imaginative. It is about taking the unexpected and then doing
something unexpected with it.The key is to be open to crazy
ideas and building on them. And funnily enough, this is
exactly what is needed if we are going to make our enterprises
more creative and agile.”
-Paul Sloane,The LeadersGuide to LateralThinkingSkills
“Only a life lived for others is worth living.”• – Albert Einstein
Improv is a team-sport, as are work and life. To have a successful
improv scene, you must connect to the other player and focus on your
relationship. It’s easy to forget about this when performing on a stage
in front of people, and just as easy to forget in the workplace or when
trying to get a job, or a promotion. But life is about relationships and
connections, not material objects or status.
The way you listen, look, move, and react tells the other person
whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re
listening.When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re
saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport.When they don’t, they
generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.
If you want to become a better communicator, it’s important to
become more sensitive not only to the body language and nonverbal
cues of others, but also to your own.
Eye contact is one of the key signals that we are engaging on a deeper
level of connection…Listening.
Authors:JeanneSegal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., Greg Boose, and
Ph.D. Last updated: May 2013.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood” – Stephen R. Covey
Never expect a certain answer or reaction. Just listen and react to
what was actually said.”
Our education system has taught us to listen to react–to start to
formulate an answer for the question our teacher is asking us, before
she’s even finished asking it. The problem is that in meetings and
conversations, we stop listening once we think we know what someone
is going to say because we start thinking about our response–often
missing the true point of what is being said. If you want to be a better
communicator, stop assuming you know what is being communicated
and start listening to what is actually being said.
Listening is a muscle that can be strengthened with regular practice.
The Corporate Culture of, “No”!
In a recent article that was published in PsychologyToday, it was found that
the word “no” can have a distinct impact on our ability to
reason, communicate, and think logically. The “Yes,And Rule in improv.
How does theYes, And rule apply in the workplace? Corporate cultures can
be very competitive. A competitive workplace can create a culture where
everyone is looking out for themselves. When people are shooting down
other’s ideas and managers are not listening to their employees because
they are afraid of change, ideas that could develop into something amazing
are left to die and employees are often miserable. If companies use the
improv rule of “Yes, And”... they open the door to ideas that would
normally get ignored and missed altogether.
Adding and Moving Forward
“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making
other plans.”-John Lennon
Workplace dynamics have a knack for keeping people
from their more creative selves. Improv teaches us to
respond quickly, move forward, use what’s in front of
you allowing the creativity to flow.
Always be progressing.
Everything is moving at a faster rate today, the
economy, business, technology.....and you cannot
afford to stay in one place.
Fail and Feature it
FromTina Fey’s Bossypants,
“There are no mistakes, only opportunities, which doesn’t mean that things can’t go
wrong, but that it’s your job to make the best of the situation you find yourself in.
…. In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents. And many of the
world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at
the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or Botox.”
In corporate environments, people are most often afraid to fail. Making a mistake is
usually not encouraged. However, in Improv we are taught to take a risk, fail, and find
something amazing in the process. Some of the world’s most amazing discoveries were
Penecillin-one of the most famous and fortunate accidents of the 20th century
Coke-Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton was trying to make a cure for headaches.
He mixed together a bunch of ingredients , and Coca-Cola was born.
What have we learned?
Look to each other to find authentic, trusting
and deep connections. Look, listen and interpret
cues from peoples’ expressions. This connection
is the building block to all communication
Listening takes practice. You can learn more by
saying nothing. Only react off what others give
By agreeing, accepting, and
saying, “Yes, And”, we move leaps and bounds
toward accomplishing forward movement and
achieving goals and finding solutions.
When you remove competition, walls crumble
and you allow yourself to fail.This is when the
best ideas flourish.
Atlanta Improv Events, Inc, Founder and Facilitator
“Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.” Del Close
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than
in a year of conversation.” Plato