August 28, 2017 Laura 0Comment

Neil Curran, improv teacher and performer, and Anna Wilson, improv performer, join me to discuss how improvisation skills could help you nail your next pitch and unleash the potential of your team. And the good news is, you were already doing it as a kid! 

We talk about banning the “but” word, team making vs team breaking and embracing your mistakes.


Key takeaways

[1:53] Improv is usually associated with comedy but really it is something we all are born doing but tend to lose as adults. It is how we react and how we listen. Its about spontaneity, how we respond in the moment.

[3:27] Improv skills are life skills. As children we just want to play, kids don’t have the constraints we put on ourselves as adults. Fear of punishment shuts down playfulness and creativity.

[5:39] 'Mistakes are just a new way of doing things' - Jill Bernard

[7:55] How Anna came to improv. Discovered it’s not about being funny and witty but about being supportive of your partner on stage.

[11:34] Team building days usually mean being sent to a competitive environment or activity – not necessarily the right approach to build a strong collaborative team. An effective team is people working together.

[17:37] As a techie, Anna came from a “no but” approach to working on ideas but through improv has changed to a “yes and” approach. You build on ideas rather than tearing them down.

[22:41]  'The edge of your comfort zone is where the magic happens when it comes to learning'

[28:04] Within the corporate environment, improv is a tool to help you achieve what you want. Used in sales training, for communication skills, negotiation and conflict resolution.

[37:53] Mindfulness through improv as an alternative to sitting in a quiet room, breathing in and out.

[43:29] Improv teaches you to care less about what you think other people think of you

[44:14] Neil on confidence when speaking in public: Perception is reality, fake it til you make it and over time you will turn it into real confidence

[47:50] Neil and Anna’s top 5 tips on public speaking and presentations:

  1. Your audience is already on your side.
  2. You’re already the expert
  3. Find what you’re passionate about in your topic. That is what will sell it to your audience and make it engaging
  4. Understand what the audience needs
  5. If you’re having fun, your audience will have fun

[56:00] Neil’s biggest tip:  Do something that scares you every day!

[57:19] Anna’s biggest tip:  If you want to do it, you have to do it!


Links to things mentioned


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