Improvisation is simply about connecting and communicating spontaneously and flexibly—not necessarily funny quips. We use a wide array of exercises and games to suit a wide variety of personality types, seniority levels, business sectors and group sizes. With Bizprov's facilitation, any client can get what they want out of it—a tighter team, more innovation, better mutual understanding and respect, ways of dealing with surprises, a shared bonding experience.
The experiential workshop format lets clients practice what their new skills will look like in the real world. Practice internalizes learning.
We can't believe everyone isn't using this all the time, everywhere!
Our workshop configurations vary in length and range from half to full to multi-day models, as well as retreats, post-workshop follow-up coaching, and one-on-one intensives. Anything is possible! It is entirely customized.
For client groups looking for creativity development, spontaneous thinking and innovation, we generally offer a day- or half-day-long improvisation workshop. For communication, collaboration, and teambuilding, we adapt some of our hundreds of exercises to find the right balance of experiential work, pure fun, and highly-focused applicable coaching. All of the work is experiential, involves risk-taking, and encourages "mistakes" in a safe environment.
For our speaker training and presentations skills workshops, we encourage clients to take risks, present themselves in a new, more powerful and compelling way. We look at their personal brand and values, because who you are affects how you are, and vice versa. In the theatrical tradition, the work aims for authenticity and for a strong bond with the audience on every level—emotionally, intellectually, sensory, and through the imagination. We invent text spontaneously, we tell stories (or swap them, if it's a group workshop), we use famous scripts and character texts, and we focus on real-world messages the clients may need to deliver immanently.
Throughout the day and in a final conference, our trainers engage participants in reflective questions and draw clear connections between the workshop experience and the client's bottom-line goals. We develop skills systematically in our clients, highlighting participants' "wins" right as they happen, in the moment. The written take-away materials we provide reinforce the skills learned in the workshop and how they apply to building real-time value for our clients in the workplace.
All of the workshops can be followed by additional individual or group coaching. Rest assured–none of this material is exhausted with one workshop! Improvisation is a system of observation, connection-making, risk-taking, and the exploration of new ideas without prejudice. It can be studied over a lifetime, and our clients give us many varied and different takes on what the work brings out in them in useful ways professionally and personally.
Frequent Workshop and Retreat Themes:
Spontaneity & Flow
Narrative & Leadership Message
Collaboration Across Chasms
Creativity & Innovation
Developing Business Relationships
Specific Scenarios Lab (crisis prep, anyone?)
Sample outline from a 12-week Public Workshop cycle:
Sessions 1 – 3: Baseline Technique & Alignment
We begin by showing up and connecting with each other. Rhythm, eye contact, shared breathing, simple storytelling and co-telling, and physical communication get participants trusting one another, so that the group begins to see itself as an ensemble of learners. Pairs and groups create a strong basis of offers and acceptance and test it in role-playing scenarios. We distinguish agreement from acceptance and learn to avoid the traps of asking questions and saying "no." We will look at how this may show up in "real life" and how we can effectively accept and match offers to create synergy.
Sessions 4 – 7: Engagement, Courage & Leadership
We use exercises designed to challenge our on-stage, "in the hot seat" concentration and focus. As improvisers we will develop our moments of initiation and points of focus in bold, risky ways and play outside the box, beyond our normal turf and parameters. We play to eliminate doubt and tentativeness, to make it happen right now, boldly declaring "of course!" without squelching creativity or surprises. The exercises are organized around getting and giving instant information, exploiting it powerfully, and being present and fully energized at each stage. We treat a monologue or speech as an improvisational turning point for communicating strong perspectives.
Sessions 8 – 9: Mastery & Adaptability
Participants will learn how to improvise a stage show together. The group will master give-and-take, sharing focus, discovering and choosing what happens where and when ( and then what happens), as stories and improvised scenes unfold. They will learn to lead and follow; ask for help from a position of strength; make broad connections for each other; play with the politics involved; deal with curveballs; and find strong ending points. We engage the audience and develop savvy improvisational performance strategy and maneuverability.
Sessions 10 – 12: Applicability Lab
The final modules are three weeks of improvising creatively around real-world scenarios (from work or life). The suggestions for these explorations will come from class participants. We will likely play with negotiation, difficult conversations, managing (up or down), work/life balance, back/front office issues, messaging, and the politics of meetings. We'll jump forward and backward in time, explore repercussions and results, play out alternate possible resolutions to situations, and investigate "what if's" of all sorts.
For more details on workshops to fit your needs, contact us here.