Why Improv Training Is Great Business Training

Forbes Leadership Forum [June 2014]

improv is great for communication! When you are forced to be present and speak without preparation, you learn to be more authentic. Additionally, when you commit to the improv principle of "Yes, And", you embrace a more collaborative style of interaction.

Improvisers must be "present in the moment, listening carefully, and contributing freely. These skills turn out to be particularly useful in workplaces that rely on adaptability." Improvisers don't just listen for the general sense of what's being said - they listen to every single word, they listen to the tone behind each of those words, and they think about the implication of whatever was NOT said. Essentially, It's active listening x1000.

Improv is also fantastic training for presentation skills. The most dynamic speakers are not the ones who have access to the most fascinating information, but rather the ones that can convince their audience that what they are sharing is important. They convey a sense of heightened emotion, and their passion can be felt off the stage. It's as much about confidence as it is about what's being said. “If people aren’t confident, they don't contribute as much, so you lose. It’s like group writers’ block: You only toss your idea out there if it’s perfect.” Improv teaches that it doesn't have to be that way.

Danny Yadegar