Tap into the Second City’s Improvisation offerings

One of the most important elements of effective communication is the ability to think on your feet and adapt quickly. What better way to do that than discovering the tools and techniques inherent in Improvisation - and what city knows Improv better than Chicago?

I encourage all my Chicago communication training participants to take Improv classes as a complement to building their skills as a leader, a listener, a team member and a speaker. In improvisation, participants take the stage without a script and makeup the story line as they go, building off each other’s ideas. Business professionals can learn to integrate Improvisations guiding principles into their daily interactions with colleagues to win hearts and minds.

You’ll learn to:

  1. Say “Yes, and.”

    “Yes” means accepting an idea at face value. “And” involves taking that idea and building onto it. It’s an approach that creates openness (yes) and a bridge to creativity or innovation (and).

  2. Be generous and willing.

    If someone proposes a new idea, improvisers accept it as if it’s the best idea ever! You will discover the power of accepting with energy and excitement.

  3. Be “all in”.

    Improvisers commit to exploring all aspects of an idea before prematurely judging or evaluating it. They don’t detach or demean. They understand the more you are committed the more solid the end result.

  4. Not try so hard.

    You don’t have to be funny to be a good improviser, you just need to make the scene interesting.

  5. Make your partner look good.

    When improvising, the better you support your partner, the better your scene will be. Good improv fails when one individual tries to dominate the action with what they think is a killer idea. Listen, look and be willing to let go.

How can you become a more effective workplace communicator?

  • Improve listening

    Client meetings where everything is moving quickly and where it is essential that you don’t miss a key fact someone said in order to move the conversation forward. You must go beyond hearing to listening deeply to everything being said.

  • Enhance Presentation Skills

    Improv training is great for improving presentation skills as well. You may know your content but your ability to respond to the emotional nuances of your audience is incredibly important to successful presentations.

  • Generate Ideas

    Yes, and is a great tool to encourage more ideas in a brainstorming session - which is about quantity, not necessarily quality. Saying yes to all ideas and building from there is key.

  • Build your team

    Improv will help you recognize how to create an environment where mutual support is a goal for all team members.

Does Chicago communications training have an edge? I believe it does when you tap into the city’s long history of Improvisation and discovered its time-honored principles. Effective communication also has at is foundation the same principles of being present, listening carefully and contributing freely.

To check out Improvisation training opportunities in Chicago, go to:

Second City
The Annoyance Theatre
Comedy Sportz
iO Improv

Author's Bio: 

Mari Pat Varga is a passionate and dedicated advocate for building robust communication cultures and individual communication champions within organizations. Learn more http://vargacom.com/