Improspectives

Improv skills lead to success

Improspectives at ASTD-Cascadia 2013

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I had the very good fortune to present an Improspectives session at the annual conference put on by the Cascadia chapter of the American Society for Training and Development last Friday. My room was pleasantly full and the participants were willing to engage with me and their colleagues in a series of exercises (interspersed with bits of lecture).

The conference’s theme was Collaboration, so I focused on listening, game play, and storytelling. I broke the topics down this way:

  • Prerequisites for effective improvisation
  • Five types of listening
  • Games and game theory
  • Building narratives as a team

After my introductory remarks on what it takes to improvise effectively, I led the group in exercises to reinforce skills described in the listening, play, and narrative sections. We laughed, we talked, we pondered…but most of all, we had fun and learned together for an hour.

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