Every year around the holidays my mother, Mama Booth, slaves away in the kitchen for hours preparing a feast for the entire family and friends; appetizers, mains, desserts, the whole shebang. Every year, she complains after the meal that she’ll never do it again, and yet the following year, she’s back in the kitchen trying out new recipes in an attempt to outdo herself. Mama Booth is the master of large Italian meals. She succeeds because she’s not afraid to take risks and always leaves us wanting more. If you want to succeed in sales and improv, take some notes from Mama Booth.Read More
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:Read More
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.
Last week we had the opportunity to work with the awesome "Ladies in Logistics" at Load Delivered Logistics! These women relaxed into the evening with cheese and wine, and then jumped right into our hour and a half session on taking initiative and creative risks.
You may be thinking to yourself, "what does it mean to take creative risks?" Although these ladies can now tell you what it means (and risks they did take, just by participating in our workshop)! but here is what taking creative risks means to us. Taking creative risks means creating a safe environment in which people are willing to communicate in different ways, seeing creative inspiration differently by taking a step back and seeing others' point of view, and helping individuals understand that being a leader and taking initiative works in a dynamic way that is always changing.
These gals were a blast to work with, and we are so grateful to have seen what risks they could take in our short period of time together. Thank you for a fun, thought-provoking and entertaining ladies night! You inspire us!Read More
We had a blast yesterday with the recent hires at Mesirow Financial in our Presentation Skills workshop. These guys got out of their comfort zones and were fantastic participants from start to finish. For some, it was their very first day on the job! We'd like to this think it was a first day they will NEVER forget!
These guys were positive, thought outside of the box and used story-telling to improve their presentation skills. These "superheroes" created abstract stories, practiced the art of saying "Yes" and mastered the art of the "Chicken Dance." We were so happy to be a part of this experience. Thanks so much for having us, and best wishes to this talented group. You guys, rock!Read More
Welcome to the improve it! challenge! This challenge is all about collaboration and validating others' thoughts and ideas.
Here's how to play:
1) Watch this 38 second video for this week's challenge
2) Tell us how you used "yes, and" to validate another person's thoughts and offered up a suggestion to take the conversation to the next level.
3) On Friday, September 11th a winner will be chosen based off their response and highlighted on our social media pages.
*In addition, all winners will receive a spot for themselves and three friends in our Q4 Public Workshop as well as receive a $10.00 Starbucks gift card.*
We look forward to hearing your results!Read More
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...Read More
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!Read More
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.Read More