They walk out on stage, interact a little with the audience, take in suggestions for topics, and, boom! – they have created a story on the spot, without any rehearsal! It’s called Improv. And it’s not just about fun and games anymore, it’s being used in better business practice.
We’ve seen the shows on TV and on You-Tube; the best-known examples are Whose Line is it Anyway and Improv-a-ganza. These shows, and others like them, bring excitement and entertainment, and we may sometimes be amazed by the on-the-spot creativity of the actors. The question is, if they can do it, can we? The answer – a resounding YES!
ORIGINS OF IMPROV
Improvised comedy (Improv) became popular about 40 years ago, as an evolution in comedy entertainment. But it has also became a useful experience for anyone pursuing an acting career. So why would people who have no intention of becoming actors want to get in on an activity like this? Let me tell you.
In the past few years, many articles have been written about Improv – the headlines tell us what we need to know:
“Three Ways Improv Comedy Can Improve Your Listening Skills”
“Why Improv Training Is Great Business Training”
“The Five Principles of Leadership Improv”
“Four Reasons to Take an Improv Class”
That last title was found in Forbes, and if it’s good enough for that global media goliath, then it’s good enough for me!
Here in Kyiv, the first Improv community was born back in 2009, with an English-language Improv Club created in 2017, involving locals and expats alike. Since then IT specialists, the top leader of a financial institution, a psychotherapist, a dentist, a marketing manager, various salesmen, the CEO of a printing company, journalists, event hosts and organisers are just a few of the professionals who have attended these Improv Club sessions.
IMPROV FOR BUSINESS
There are three key reasons why Improv might be of benefit to you or your company. Let me elucidate:
- Using the “Yes, and…” technique in the workplace
The main tool of Improv, which enables newcomers to create a funny and meaningful story, is “Yes, and…”. The idea is that “Yes” takes on board that which another participant initially suggests and the “and” is a segue to expand on this line of thinking and develop what’s being offered. Used in business, it is effective in brainstorming, communication, and encourages free thinking. In this way, Improv is about finding an effective response to unexpected circumstances, so practicing it helps you develop a proactive approach to life. Whatever challenges you face, use the “Yes, and” tool and see how it fosters an effective approach to life and business.
“Improv is about finding an effective response to unexpected circumstances”
- Taking ideas and making them better
Many training forums offer tips for brain-storming sessions, but it’s Improv that de-velops this skill through practice rather than just theoretical knowledge. Improvisers have a unique approach to listening and producing new ideas by allowing these sessions to happen in a supportive environment.
- Being less afraid to make mistakes
Why are we so creative in childhood and not so in adult life? As grownups, we have developed a fear of making mistakes and in general what others think about us. Practicing Improv allows you to relax your mind and frees you to access a new level of creativity. Other important benefits of Improv include communication skills, overcoming a fear of public speaking, taking yourself less seriously, being in the here and now, and thinking on your feet. The key point here is that Improv is about building skills important not just for business, but everyday life.
A VISION FOR LIFE
“Life is not just about how much you know, but about how well you can use what you already know!” It’s for this rea-son the movement called, #IMPROVision – a vision for life, through improvisation, was created. This movement offers corporate clients and their staff the opportunity to develop skills in a proactive, enjoyable, and beneficial learning atmosphere. The next up-and-coming seminar – Game of Rules, is an ideal place to get started. Achieve effectiveness in business as well as in your personal life following the rules of Improv. So what are you waiting for? This is your opportunity to answer the ultimate question: “Yes, and…”!
Game Of Rules
18 April at 19.00
IQ Business Centre (Bolsunovska 13-15)