Developing Strong Leadership Skills Using Improv

Developing Strong Leadership Skills Using Improv starts with simple game play. As you pick up tips to perform scenes and stories, you also develop better presentation skills, out of the box problem solving, and a deeper listening and focus. You can better serve your team when you have a better understanding as to what they really need. You can manage any challenge by inspiring collective team mentality. But, perhaps one of the most relevant skill from Improv, is the storytelling, itself.

Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire. What makes storytelling so effective for learning? For starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand intuitively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of the ties that bind.

From What Makes Storytelling So Effective For Learning? by Vanessa Boris, Harvard Business

Sure, we can simply present the facts, but story gets our audience engaged. Your audience will retain what they hear. Whether managing a sales force, financial whizzes or teaching children, storytelling will inspire.

By creating story around your message you also help shape its reception. A list of facts can be interpreted in many ways. Creating story shapes the facts the way you intend. The more specific you get the more the audience will see your vision.

Improv classes will teach you to shape your story. We learn to focus in on the WHO WHERE WHAT of a story. We then dig deeper and discover the HOW & WHY that makes a story interesting.

Improv teaches to dig a little deeper, to paint the picture with words and body gestures.

Story telling is so much more than words. Presentation is 70-97% of the game. In marketing and Advertising, the copy is 7-30% of the overall effectiveness of the campaign. The fonts, the colors, the layout and other visuals craft the story.

#1 Fear in the World

Public Speaking fears cannot be understated. Most of us fail as managers due to our own social anxieties, which leads us to avoid necessary engagements or over compensate and get far too aggressive.

Improv Comedy gives us the experience and practice we need making up story in a safe un assuming environment. When we apply these techniques in the real world we now do so with the confidence.

We will all stumble and fall. “failing” is part of life. It’s how we learn. Improv classes and workshops give us a fun place to make our mistakes and learn without the exposure. Every mistake in Improv is a gift, a chance to think differently, a chance to learn.

The most important part about Improv is the laughter itself. Through playing these games, we learn to be comfortable in our own skin, laughing at our own stumbles. We develop the skill of surviving awkward unknown moments. we keep our eyes and ears open for knew and exciting, instead of shutting down with impenetrable walls.

Further, Improv is a huge skill to develop our team, but often a waste if not embraced at the top. The power of “YES! And…” is TOP DOWN. A individual must feel valued in order for the team to thrive. The leader must LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Show an honest concern for the well being of every team member.

Over the past eighteen years, Walt Frasier has worked with hundreds of corporate teams as well as teachers and K12 school children, using Improv comedy to teach team building, leadership, sales and service skills. Since March 2020 Frasier and his team from EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH deliver online shows & classes. Other credits include TV (Billions, Friends of the People, Royal Pains, Blue Bloods, Letterman, MTV, NICK, WE), Commercials and international credits in theater, comedy and music.

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