The Fastest Way To Trust: Laughter

Shawn Westfall
Category : Improvisation May 4, 2011

This post was written by Shawn Westfall, Improv Guru.

Begin with the End in Mind: A Post Mortem (and a Drink)

One of the “traditions” I’ve established during my eight-year history of teaching beginning improvisational comedy classes at the DC Improv is what I call “the-after-the-class-drinks-and-post-mortem”: everyone of drinking age retires to a local pub to share their experiences of the class. Approximately 17 people squeeze into a medium-sized booth at a local Irish pub to hoist their potable preferences, where I then invite their class critiques. Hey, it’s better than some formalized written class critique. Plus, there’s booze.

Leaping from the Live to the Virtual Classroom: Facilitation Tips that Engage and Energize Virtual Audiences

Andrea Howe
Category : Improvisation November 15, 2010

This post was written by Susan Silver Levy, Executive Consultant.

It’s now 30 minutes into your web-based seminar. . . Do you know where your participants are?I suspect some are checking email, others are finishing important client work, and yet others are surfing social networks.

Online participants can be notorious multi-taskers. However, good virtual facilitators can create a learning atmosphere—one so engaging—that participants will forget about Outlook, client memos, and LinkedIn.

Are you tuned in or tuned out?

Andrea Howe
Category : Improvisation November 2, 2010
In our August blog, I made some bold statements about the transformational nature of impov comedy.
Here’s a recap of what I said:
“In the nearly 20 years I’ve been working with groups, it is, without a doubt, most transformational team building experience I’ve ever witnessed. It’s much easier than ropes courses. It’s more immediately impactful than personality typing. It gets you out of your head and into the more creative parts of your brain—in an instant. Plus it just plain feels good to just plain laugh with your co-workers. And what could be better than laughing while advancing your business goals?”I also offered a simple exercise you can start using with your team today called “Yes, but …” or “Yes, and …”?.

Moments of truth, improvised

Andrea Howe
Category : Improvisation September 14, 2010

Anyone who’s been in professional services for more than a week has probably encountered a tricky client situation or two. Some examples:

  • A prospective client asks you point blank, “What experience do you have in xyz industry?” and even though you saw that question coming, you didn’t think it would be quite so direct, and the honest answer is zero, zip, nada—only you’re afraid to say so because you think it’s a deal-breaker and you’ve got other relevant experience that surely they’ll want to hear about before summarily dismissing you!

Improv-ing teamwork: “Yes, but …” or “Yes, and …”?

Andrea Howe
Category : Improvisation August 19, 2010
In the nearly 20 years I’ve been working with groups, improv comedy is, without a doubt, the most transformational team building experience I’ve ever witnessed.
It’s much easier than ropes courses. It’s more immediately impactful than personality typing. It gets you out of your head and into the more creative parts of your brain—in an instant. Plus it just plain feels good to just plain laugh with your co-workers. And what could be better than laughing while advancing your business goals?

Laughter is the Best Corporate Medicine

Cary Paul
Category : Improvisation July 14, 2010

This month’s improv tip is from Cary Paul, Chief Improv Officer

There’s an unexpected catalyst for transformational change out there that most companies haven’t considered tapping into. It’s not leadership from the top. It’s not buy-in from the bottom. It’s not a compelling vision. It’s not a mission statement that everyone can easily remember and recite. (Although all of these things matter). It’s humor.

Consulting made funny?

Andrea Howe
Category : Consulting, Improvisation November 1, 2007

“Think improv comedy is just for laughs? Think again. It’s fertile training ground for dealing with the unexpected – you know, like in a sales conversation, when a client asks a zinger that you never saw coming. I discovered the magic of improv comedy a few years ago when I decided it was time to learn how to get past the “frozen-ness” I felt when something like that happened to me.


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