Four Ways Improv Can Make You a Better Networker

Four Ways Improv Can Make You a Better Networker

You just moved to a new city where you are out of your comfort zone, nervous and alone.  It’s your first day at your new job, and you think you’ve accepted a role that you aren’t quite qualified for.  Or maybe you’ve just started a new graduate program and your teacher assigned you a challenging group project.

In all of these situations, you want to build not only a professional network but a new social circle.  Where in the world do you start? Here are four ways the art of improvisation can help you overcome your fears, make connections and establish new relationships, all while having fun in the process. Networking is really NETing a new outcome based on the WORK you put in. Follow these four simple tips to help jump start the process:

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"Tell Me About Yourself." The Dreaded Interview Question and How Improv Can Help!

"Tell Me About Yourself." The Dreaded Interview Question and How Improv Can Help!

“So, tell me a little about yourself.” The dreaded open-ended interview question.  It’s inevitable.  I shift in my seat, cough, and then drone on in a prepared statement about my qualifications, effectively reciting my cover letter by memory.  “I AM A HUMAN FEMALE WHO ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND FROM TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT TO TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE…”  Everything I’m saying is true, but I watch in horror as the interviewer’s eyes glaze over, the corners of their mouth twist into a forced smile, and they sigh, preparing to power through the rest of the interview.

I consider myself to be a somewhat interesting human being, so why do I lose all personality and sense of self when answering this question?  I truly struggled with this before I started improvising, but I no longer fear it after applying these three simple improv rules. 

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An evening with improve it! (An Inside Glimpse into our Q3 Public Workshop)

An evening with improve it! (An Inside Glimpse into our Q3 Public Workshop)

A smiling and well dressed gentleman greets you as you arrive for an evening of improvisation, networking and experiential learning. You are then whisked to a private elevator that leads you to a gorgeous retail warehouse and office in Chicago's dapper West Loop neighborhood.

Upon exiting the elevator, you are greeted by more kind faces, provided snacks and a notebook, and surrounded by a room full of smiling strangers. You have an idea of what is in store for the next hour and a half, and you mix-and-mingle with other successful professionals before the workshop begins.

 

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Improv to the Rescue! How Improv Can Save You in a Meeting When You're Unprepared

Improv to the Rescue! How Improv Can Save You in a Meeting When You're Unprepared

After back-to-back client meetings, my boss hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, “let’s eat.” It had been a productive, albeit very tiring morning full of meetings and negotiations and we both needed to get some lunch before continuing on with the day.  What I forgot was that I blocked off my lunch hour in order to prepare for an operations meeting that was occurring in the afternoon.

Instead of checking in with my team and seeing where the progress on a project stood, I was enjoying a bowl of chicken chili, a green smoothie, and talking with my boss about the NHL Playoffs. 

How many times has this happened to us? Where a meeting runs over and we don’t have time to prepare? Or, let’s be honest, we simply forget that we had a meeting? It’s happened to me more than a few times.

Rather than letting our unpreparedness set us up for failure, here are a holster of improv tactics that will not only make you look completely ready, but also allow you to effectively participate, stay present, and add value in any business meeting...

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How to Use Improv to Network Like a Pro

How to Use Improv to Network Like a Pro

By Guest Blogger: Chuck Feerick

There is a very small subset of people who get excited when they look at a meeting agenda and see the dreaded “Network and Cocktails” time slot. Before beginning improv, excited was the last word that came to mind when I thought about networking. My initial response was usually, “I hope I can find a group of people I know to go with” or “I hope something good is happening on Twitter so I can spend the next hour playing on my phone.” Neither of these options helps to make any new connections.

There is a better way to make it through a networking event, and a way that can actually lead to making some new friends or identifying business opportunities. What if networking events could actually be fun? Well, they can be if you embrace some of these general improv techniques that will help you get rid of the anxiety, make new friends, and most importantly, have FUN at your next event!

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Going Up - Episode 2

Going Up - Episode 2

The Spotty Truth is one of our three improvisational teams here at improve it!, and the “truth” is, we pinch ourselves daily that this talent is a part of our organization.

The Spotty Truth has been performing improvised biographies together for over two years. They have performed at The Den Theater, Studio BE, Bughouse Theater, Donny’s Skybox, Stage 773, Collaboraction Theater, Elgin Studio and all over Chicago. They have appeared in the St. Louis Fringe Festival, The Detroit Improv Festival, The Chicago Improv Festival and The Twin Cities Improv Festival. Spotty members have trained at comedy institutions The Second City, iO Theatre, the Annoyance Theatre, Comedy Sportz and 500 Clown Theatre.

The Spotty Truth has worked with us on a variety of workshops and performances, and are always high-energy, engaging and above all FUN to work with. Don’t believe us? Watch the video for THE (spotty) TRUTH.

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