Integrating improv into your business conversations

In Things to Think About by Mark Sylvester

whose-line-is-it-anyway-renewed-season-3 Developing improv skills can help your day-to-day business. The TV Show, Who’s Line Is It Anyway is a global phenomenon responsible for bringing improv comedy into the homes of millions. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the art of improv. A core concept of improv is being present. When on stage with others, you have the task of creating a story from a situation posed by the audience. If you are not completely in the moment and paying close attention you will miss cues from the others. This is exactly like being in a situation with prospects or colleagues who might be describing a problem or explaining an opportunity. How often are you truly listening and reacting to the cues they give you? Most likely you have a script or story you are committed to communicating and are anxiously waiting for them to stop talking so you can start. Does this sound familiar? If you did this in improv you would miss opportunities to react and add value to the conversation. Being present is a skill worth practicing and something that is not typically taught in workshops for businesses. Next time you are having a conversation, instead of focusing on what you want to say next, consider using one of the cardinal concepts of improv and instead say, “Yes, and…” in order to add value to the conversation. If you want to practice your improv skills in a live and friendly environment, check out Santa Barbara Improv WorkshopVentura ImprovWestlake Acting StudioSan Luis Obispo, SLO Witz. If you attend any Improv classes in the 805 region that are not listed, please mention them in the comments.