I’ve been doing weekly Improv with ‘Bridgeable’*, a Liberty Village innovation and design firm, since 2009. The CEO was a student of mine at The Second City, and he brought me in to offer his employees a fun, team-building break from the demands of their workdays.
This is a group of very smart and creative people. So there’s a high level of intelligence in their Improv fun, which makes the gig extra good for me- smart and funny is always a great combo.
But this successful company has done a lot of hiring over those years that I’ve been working with them. So there’s always a mix in my sessions- some folks that have been enjoying the weekly sessions for years, and also fresh faces from the ‘just hired’ ranks. So the principal challenge for me as a facilitator is to keep the Improv veterans engaged while offering the newbies a crash course in the basics.
The solution is PowerPoint Improv; a mixture of classic Improv exercises and ‘make ’em up’ slide shows.
The best thing about PPT Improv for businesses is that EVERYONE in the room can start succeeding from ‘go’. They’ve all sat through at least a dozen PPT presentations, many have also done a more than few themselves. So we’re starting with a structure that everyone in the room ‘gets’. With traditional Improv, there’s sometimes discomfort with the theatre aspects- acting, miming, playing ‘characters’. With PowerPoint Improv, most if not all of those are minimized, ensuring that everyone gets up to speed quicker.