Improv for Business is Like Ballet for Football – the high achievers realize they need cross training for outstanding performance.

For speakers, managers, team leads – and all who have to communicate with others – improv, or improvisational, skills are essential. And we want to make a clear distinction that improv is not simply “winging” it or “talking off the cuff”.

View our video on the “Mind the Gap” concept here

It is being present and flexible in the moment – listening and responding to the needs of the situation. Being excellent at improv takes practice.

Improv for Business GlassesWhy improvisation? Why are business schools incorporating improv into the curriculum?

In business it pays to be nimble with our thoughts, decisions and responses.

Improvisation is about learning to be in the moment, quick on the uptake, and flexible.

Business training realizes it has a great deal to learn from the arts.  Improv troupes and jazz musicians understand that improvisation is about knowing your subject so well that you can move without a script, handle variations, and play with embellishment while still having the tune recognizable.

In business, listening is absolutely essential. Improv seems like it can be all about the quick come back or retort.  Yet, phenomenal listening skills are the foundation to that response.  What do master improv actors and highly successful business people have in common? They excel at listening and observing.   (more…)

PRESS: “What is…” Wednesday – Why Should PR Folks Make Us Laugh? An Improvisational Take

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Ever see the Steve Martin/Rick Moranis classic “My Blue Heaven?”In it, the incomparable Joan Cusack asserts that people are either “The Funny One,” or “The Smart One,” assuming most people are NOT both.

Emmy nominee and PRSA Western District Conference presenter Hilary Blair, however, begs to differ.

A popular voice-over artist and actor who teaches voice, public speaking, and voice-over for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the National Theatre Conservator, Hilary is currently preparing to lead a group of PR peeps (myself included) in a full-on Improv Workshop at the Conference in March. More details here

So, this got me to thinking…

Hilary – why does comedy have a place in the work day?

Comedy and creative play is – or at least should be – part of our daily lives.  As adults, we move away from play – or separate out play time from our serious work time.  What most people don’t understand is that play itself is about exploration and constructive problem solving, not mere frivolity. While it sometimes gets a bad rap, play and comedy can play a very serious part in the learning process.

Humor can also help get to the core of issues in business – responses while at play and when in the throes of laughter are often from the gut. Our gut responses to most things are all too often dead on – if only we would listen.  Some of us have turned a deaf ear to our own brilliant ideas!

When we make time for play and comedy, we give ourselves a chance to get back to listening to that small voice, trusting that tiny prod to move forward in a certain direction – to try a crazy idea or look at something from a new angle.

Every day is a chance to rekindle our playful creativity for life and work.



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