Whether you have a lot of natural humor or not really doesn’t matter with improv. After all, it’s not just about making people laugh, it can also help with collaboration skills, good communication and you can become more open minded.
Being asked to go on stage, in front of hundreds of people you don’t know and make them laugh sounds like something from a bad dream. However, entrepreneur and comedian Bill Connolly thinks otherwise. He believes that it’s necessary to do something to improve your career and that improv classes provide this. In his book ‘Funny Business’, you can read about how he is not only a funny comedian, but he is a marketing and branding expert and he knows what he’s talking about.
His professional skills really took off when he started taking improv classes. He felt far more confident, creative and his fear of failure said goodbye. Here’s how it happens:
You are Forced to Collaborate
The ‘yes… and’ exercise is very powerful when it comes to business and collaboration. This exercise is used to listen to what somebody is saying and then to build on it. The ‘nay saying’ that goes on in the business world can be deflating and competitive but in improv, it’s about accepting somebody else’s idea and then building on it which can make for a refreshing change for many professionals. The purpose is to get people to collaborate and enjoy any idea that has been brought to the table and then accepting and improving on it is the way to go.
You have to Let go of Judgement
Judgement doesn’t serve anybody well in improv. It’s also something that should not be in business brainstorming sessions or it can put a block on the flow of creativity. Although we all like to be ‘right’ allowing this to run our lives can interrupt progress. You don’t have to come up with the best ideas from the get-go as the creative building process will help your ideas develop and the results can be spectacular.
Everything has to be created on the spot in improv classes, there’s no chance to sit back and think about it. You just have to get on with it. Fortunately, this is also something that can allow a company to go forward instead of being caught up in the heavy nets of discussion and judgement.
You Become a Better Listener
With improv, you have to be very clear about what you’re saying. Ideas are said, but if they aren’t delivered in a way that others will understand they’ll be lost. It makes you a good listener as you have to read what people are saying and ensure that you’re on top of that.
Improv helps everybody to learn to listen and understand the viewpoint before responding and reacting. Something that most people could benefit from.
Improv classes may not look as though they offer all this on first look, but they provide a great setting to stretch yourself and hone skills that can be used in a variety of different settings including professional ones. There’s also new people to meet, who you may not have come across otherwise. Improv classes can give you that piece of life that you just didn’t realise was missing until you found it.
Come along and join the Improv Dojo - it will change your life..
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These are the experiences of students past and present