Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2016

THINK LIKE AN IMPROVISER: Make Fewer Assumptions, Notice More, Play At The Top Of Your Intelligence

What makes improvisation unique as an art form and a method of self-development is its emphasis on heightened awareness of, and response to, what is presented in the moment. To do that we have to be willing and able to notice and accept what is offered. To notice and to listen to others are high-level interpersonal skills cultivated through the fun, engaging process of improvisation that have rich, real-life pay-offs. Because regardless of how well we think we listen and are aware of what others do and say, we can always improv. Sorry, I meant improve.
Responsiveness to the present moment does not mean we shut out all the knowledge, life experience and skill we bring to it. All of who we are is called upon to bring what improvisers call "playing at the top of our intelligence" to our response. Jimmy Carrane, a veteran improv performer, much respected teacher and host of the fantastic podcast Improv Nerd, describes this principle as making choices- in a game or scene - that ar…

Reimagining and Reframing Anxiety Through Improvisation workshop hand-out

"Because it is possible to create, one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever. Creating actualizes one's possibilities, always involves destroying the status quo, destroying old patterns within oneself, progressively destroying what one has clung to from childhood on, and creating new and original forms and ways of living. If one does not do this, one is refusing to grow, refusing to avail himself of his possibilities; one is shirking his responsibility to himself."Soren Kierkagaard, quoted on Maria Popova's wonderful website
 Anxiety has a vital function for human beings, who evolved with almost none of the physical survival capacities of other mammals - like big claws, the ability to run and climb at amazing speed, thick fur or razor sharp teeth - but instead are endowed with this big thinking brain that can design a probe to land on an asteroid flying through space but sometimes cannot tell the difference …

Developing Resilience Through Improvisation Workshop Handout

“Creativity is the ultimate integration tool. And the best part is that it’s built in.” In other words, we all have the power to create. And it’s in the act of doing and making a thing that you go from knowing a thing to living it." Brene Brown, How Creativity Can Make You More Resilient
Resilient people share 3 common traits, according to research discussed in Harvard Business Review: acceptance of reality;deep belief that life is meaningful;an uncanny ability to improvise;HOW IMPROVISATION DEVELOPS RESILIENCE: The psychological "muscle" developed through improvisation strengthens our ability to adapt to shifting circumstances and to find what is useful in any situation. Knowing that we can adapt removes a layer of anxiety about what might happen next - in life and in improv - and redirects it toward a greater confidence that we can use the tensions of uncertainty to tap into creative resources. 
The essence of improvisation is the focus on the person or group right in fr…

Storytelling For Professional Presentations Training Workshop Hand-Out

Professional presentations that use well-crafted stories to frame and explain important concepts engage listeners in ways that add color, imagination and emotional significance to a lecture or data-heavy power point and in this way make the content memorable and meaningful. "The story is actually just a delivery system for the teller’s agenda," writes Jonathan Gotschall in “Why Storytelling Is The Ultimate Weapon”. "A story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind. Research shows that our attitudes, values, hopes and fears are strongly influenced by story...The more absorbed readers are in a story, the more the story changes them." 

One would think that because stories are expressed through language that they engage the parts of the brain that process it, but neuroscience shows us something more. Research published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscienceshowed that when the brain hears an action word, it responds as if the list…