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Friday at Four: Improving Communication with Improv

Team Xdesign
Improving Communication With Improv

Fridays at Four are Xdesign’s group hangout session in which we set out to learn something new and improve the team. These discussions can range from a TED Talk to the latest in design or typography trends, to just taking a break to sit outside in the sun. This is John Worrel’s talk on improv and how it relates to communicating in a business setting.

So, why do we practice improv for business?

In short, it’s just a lot of fun. Tons of fun actually. But that’s not the only reason.

In marketing and advertising you are constantly building off of your environment. Improv is just the same. Positivity in the room creates a good vibe that spreads to everyone in the meeting. The same goes for negativity. “No” and “but” give feelings of push back and adversity, and both tend to stop the flow of creativity and production. This is where our improv comes in.

Yes, and…

This is an Improv 101 game. The purpose of this exercise is to build on each other’s ideas by offering a new perspective or fact. It begins with a place and subject (theme). Each actor must respond to their partner with, “Yes, and...” followed by a thought related to the previous statement.

As with improv, good advertising is (usually) unexpected, you need to be prepared to deal with things you haven’t thought of yet and positive communication is key. This is how we do it:

SCENE: Two friends talk about grocery shopping.
Partner #1: “I went to the grocery store today and found their produce selection to be outstanding.”
Partner #2: “Yes, and I really liked that they had all the tropical fruits grouped together.”
Partner #1: “Yes, and did you see the tropical fruit flyers that you could take with you?”

It’s simple, it’s fun

We had an absolute blast with “Yes, and…”. If you sometimes find yourself at a loss for words, or you just want a fun thing to do with your team, we highly encourage you try this.

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