“A fantastic moderator. You make people feel at ease. Great pace. Time was flying.”Nina Ackermans, Borealis
Below you can see some of our most popular products, based on almost twenty years of teaching improvisation. As improvisers, we are always responsive to the needs and questions of our participants, so the sessions are never exactly the same. If you don’t see what you are looking for, get in touch about a bespoke session.
Combining laughter and learning, this session is an experiential introduction to the principles and power of improvisation. In it, participants will learn some of the techniques we use onstage and see how using them can build creativity, charisma, and the ability to stay calm in uncertain environments.
After a very brief introduction, this session plunges participants into the deep end of creative cooperation, gradually increasing in complexity until they are effortlessly creating stories and scenes.
Depending on the group and the session, this is mostly in pairs and small groups but can cumulate in a short, low-pressure ‘performance’ to each other. Although challenging, this session is extremely accessible and suitable for all personality and team profiles. We have a lot of experience making the most nervous of participants feel comfortable!
This session can be anywhere from 90 mins to a day long and will give a practical introduction to what improvising means and how it can serve you. We suggest a follow-up session a couple of weeks after the event.
As humans, collective creativity is one of the most tricky things we can do, but also one of the most powerful. Humans working together are many times stronger than the sum of their parts. They can build cathedrals, play in orchestras and maintain a space station. But in a society that prioritises the individual above all else, letting go of the desire to compete does not come naturally: it is something that must be practiced.
In this workshop, participants are challenged to shift their attention from their own contribution to the collective task, all without losing their individuality or expertise. They will practice letting go of the ownership of ideas, contributing in smaller units and the balance of offering and accepting that leads to team flow.
An excellent workshop for new teams, or those struggling with communication and unhelpful competition, this session can be between three hours and a full day in length.
Whether you are talking to a single person or ten thousand, public speaking is our greatest fear behind death. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With an understanding of the physiology of nerves, we can turn them into excitement. And with an understanding of story structure, we can make our ideas land and our listeners sit up.
In this improvisation-based course, we work to dispel the fear, and maybe even help participants look forward to public speaking. We share techniques from the theatre for holding a room, giving a clear message, and staying calm while you do, along with lots of practice presenting some things that you know about and some things you don’t.
A flexible programme that can even be taken solo, our presentation course can be spread out over several sessions or packed into an intense day of training.
In order to work well, teams need many things. They need short-term goals, long-term vision, and shared ways of working. And they also need shared experiences. Things done together form a collective memory and allow colleagues to fall in step with each other daily, working quicker and more efficiently. These tasks need not be collective torture, or trials by fire. They can be delightful and easy. Hiding the learning in the fun, improvisation temporarily removes the hierarchy and allows colleagues to see each other not just as people, but as people at their best.
Our ‘Nice to Really Meet You’ session gives an opportunity to concentrate on something not work-related and, ultimately, ephemeral. And in doing so, to see colleagues through fresh eyes.
Developed as the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, this session is designed for a world of global organisations, working from home and digital nomadism. A world where some teams are rarely physically together. It has helped new teams and organisations that are combining to move from caution to cooperation, from forming to performing. It is ideal if a team is rarely in the same place, has changed significantly, or is meeting for the first time.
This session can run from a single hour to a half day and has been run for groups from 5 to 800.
How can we be clear and honest without fear of offence? How can we bring together all of our knowledge and skills without ending up fighting for territory? And how do we make sure that we are really fostering psychological safety, rather than just saying we are?
Although improv is based on the principle of ‘Yes, And’, this does not mean we are obliged to agree with everything. Too much positivity is as dangerous as none. Better to clearly discuss our experiences. This involves speaking clearly and honestly, but also knowing how to listen to others as well.
Saying what you mean and creating an environment where everyone else can too is an essential skill in any workplace. Done well, it allows swift, fluid development, prevents tensions from building up, and helps maintains healthy boundaries.
In this workshop, participants are given opportunities to experiment with when and how to speak their minds in a context where there are no ‘real-life’ outcomes. They will examine the difference between politeness and consideration and learn the efficiency and ease of clear communication. Lastly, they will examine the idea of listening, how we do it, and what it means.
This session is a minimum of two hours and can be followed up with an opportunity for further discussion and even a psychological safety survey conducted by our collaborators, Improv Communication.
Leadership has changed. Gone are the days of top-down hierarchies and 5-year strategic plans. In most organsiations, command and control would seem as outdated as an Apple 1. Being a leader is now a dance of leadership and following where the two blend into each other. Just like improvisation.
Leaders still need to inspire, but they also need a wider suite of interpersonal skills. Knowing when to make a clear decision and when to listen, when to press on and when to find a new way can be the difference between the success and failure of your team.
In ‘The Improvised Leader’, we invite participants to examine how, why, and when they lead. Faced with the uncertain, unstable environment of improvisation, they will look to balance the self with the group and contribute boldly without railroading. In doing so, leaders will learn to respond easily and without ego, allowing teams to run themselves and structures to spontaneously emerge.
This session is ideal for managers and leaders looking to challenge how they relate to their teams and each other. For those who want to experiment with trust rather than control. A longer session of a minimum of a half day, we are also able to provide ongoing support as the skills are embedded in your work.
Often our image of creative people looks a little bit the same: aloof from society, they are a little different from everyone else and blessed with ideas that no one else has. From Steve Jobs to Da Vinci via Joyce and Einstein, the image is the same.
But creativity isn’t really like that. It is collective, not individual; iterative, not monolithic. It comes from a combination of earned expertise and deliberate naivety. And it is not about being new and original. These misconceptions unaddressed lead to inefficiency, unnecessary conflict, and missed opportunities. Myths cost money.
This session begins with a short presentation dispelling these myths of creativity and an opportunity for participants to reflect on how they are getting in their way. Then, using a combination of improvisation and other training techniques, it teaches participants the curious, questioning attitude that leads to creativity. Taken as a team, this session gives a vocabulary to creativity that can help change culture and drive success.
“A fun, very informative day with extremely effective techniques.”Emma Sutherland