Who needs improv training?

Who needs improv training? Well me, for one. Although I have been doing improv for over 20 years, I am still learning. Last night at Laughing Matters workshop, I had a wonderful time and learned some neat new stuff.

Meanwhile, I’m able to pass on my expertise to help an ever more diverse clientele.

In the next month we will provide improv based training to:

The Shawnee County, Kansas Sheriff’s Department;

The Vestry at Grace Episcopal Cathedral;


Johnson County Kansas Development Supports; and

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Disease Control and Prevention

Who’s next? It could be you! Contact me, marv@laugh2learn.com What have you got to lose? All our training is unconditionally guaranteed.


Improv Training

From time to time in this space I have tried to explain how we can use improv to improve performance in many professions. But I have seldom seen it better explained than in this blog by my friend Gina Trimarco Cligrow.

I met Gina last Spring when I attended the Applied Improvisation Network’s conference in Baltimore. Now because she has already said it better than I ever could I’m asking you to read what she has written about the power of improv training. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me!

That blog again

Success and Responsibility

Just a couple of things on my mind this morning. Let’s take them in chronological order:

First the community building excercise for the incoming MPH students at The University of Kansas Medical Center was an unqualified success! At the end of the session, I heard one student remark, “I have been on campus for three months, and this is the first time I feel like I belong here.” Of course, in addition to accomplishing our goal of creating a sense of community, we all had fun. Yours truly most of all.

Sunday was my son Glenn’s birthday celebration, and as is our custom, the entire family went out to eat at the restaurant of his choosing. Our server was a very pleasant young woman, but when the food arrived, one order was missing. When I called it to her attention, she said, “My fault, I failed to put it in. I will get it in right away.” Wow! “My fault, I failed to put it in!” Not, “The kitchen messed up your order,” or “Someone else must have picked it up.” “My fault.” I was very impressed.

At laugh2learn, we include accepting and celebrating failure as an essential part of being successful. Acknowledging a mistake and taking responsibility for it, goes hand in hand with accepting failure. I was very impressed with our server, and although the service was less than perfect she earned a healthy tip.

What is “community” and how do we achieve it?

“A community is best defined as a group of people who, regardless of the diversity of their backgrounds, have been able to accept and transcend their differences, enabling them to communicate effectively and openly and to work together toward goals identified as being for their common good.” http://www.community4me.com/comm_definitions.html

I discovered that definition while working with The University of Kansas Medical Center to help develop a sense of community among students in the Master of Public Health program. http://ph.kumc.edu/

I like that definition. I have often commented that the role of community theatre is to knit diverse elements of a city together. At Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy, http://www.topekacivictheatre.com/, where I first learned improv (Thanks Shannon) I have often commented that the theatre contributes to the community by bringing diverse people together for a common purpose. It is not unusual to find an attorney in a minor role, a food service professional in the lead, and a business leader building sets.

Organizations, whatever their purpose need a sense of community. It you think about it, any team is made up of diverse individuals. It has to be. Numerous diverse skills are needed for an organization to function. But if it is to function at its highest level, it must have a sense of community; the individuals must be able “to accept and transcend their differences.”

Improv training is a wonderful way to do that:

  • First we laugh together. The more we laugh together the safer we feel with each other. It is very hard to bear a grudge after you share a laugh. (Hey I just made that up! You can quote me.)
  • Next, in that same spirit of laughter, we begin to work together toward common goals. It’s good practice that will translate back into the work place.
  • We make discoveries about each other, learn new things and discover new commonalities. We are all much more alike than we are different, and there are several improv exercises that help us discover how very much we have in common.
  • And through it all we have fun!

How often do employees come back to work from a required training session with a smile on their faces? After a session of community building through improv they will. And, if Laugh2learn provides the service, and you are not completely satisfied, you won’t have to pay me!

 What do you have to lose?


Unconditional Guarantee

As I think back over the years I have been doing training, public speaking and facilitation, I can only remember one instance in which my evaluations didn’t average over four on a five-point likert-type scale. It got me to thinking: why not offer an unconditional satisfaction guarantee. If you hire me for public speaking, training, or facilitation, and you are not satisfied, you don’t pay me. Simple as that.

Laugh2learn customers will have nothing to lose. Either they receive an excellent product, or they don’t pay.

I like it, and I’m making it official.