Curious about how this works and what’s in it for you?
I can speak in public - when I have to. Why would I need coaching?
Are you comfortable speaking with anyone, anywhere, anytime? Or are there times when you feel nervous, don’t know what to say, or wish you could handle yourself better? Do you look for opportunities to talk with people? Or do you avoid them?
Some people find it harder to speak to strangers, some to people they know. Others find it harder to speak before an audience, some one-to-one. Maybe you would like to be more at ease in conversations, meetings, or interviews. Maybe you would like to have more impact on an audience. Are you getting the response or results you want?
Whether you are toughing it out, avoiding it, or are good at it, coaching can help you be great!
I speak in public every day. Why would I need to improve or practice?
You’re a perfect candidate for improv training! Why? Because when you’re already good at something, you’re only a few steps away from being great at it. A simple tune-up could make all the difference if you want to achieve a new level of success and have more impact on others. These days you need to have excellent communication skills just to survive. If you want to thrive, these skills are critical.
When you develop the courage and skills to stand out from the crowd and be more visible, your market can find you and you’ll become indispensable. We all need to find opportunities to expand our comfort zones and think out of the box. Every day it becomes more and more essential to publicly emphasize what makes us the same and what makes us unique.
You can improve quickly no matter what your current circumstances: whether you are a wallflower, consumed with stage fright, or experienced but bored or boring. Find out how you come across to others and then improve so you get even more of what you want.
Why Improv For Business Professionals?
You will be amazed at what you can achieve, and how well you can perform, when you stay present in the moment and open to the unexpected.
Peak performance is about saying YES to the moment. It’s about maintaining your focus on the task at hand and refusing to be distracted or stalled by outer circumstances or your internal dialogue. Every day, our life is improv, but when the pressure is on, it’s easy to get off track. When you practice this skill on a daily basis, you’ll achieve this mastery. The art of improv helps you develop the concentration, communication, and collaboration skills you need to succeed in business. Through practice with these interactive, experiential, and entertaining techniques, you learn to respond more naturally, confidently, and skillfully in any situation thrown your way.
What will I gain from improv-based communication coaching/training?
You will learn ways to:
Will you write my script and choreograph my delivery?
I won’t turn YOU into ME or anyone else. As we work together, we learn what is already working for you and what would make you more effective. Then we can work on taking you to the next level. It’s a matter of gaining insight and practice where it counts. You work to develop your own genuine, unique personality and allow it to show up in your own innovative “script” and easy delivery.
You will discover your personal challenges, build upon your strengths, and bring out your own style. You will learn to trust your ability to think on your feet and change gears when things don’t go according to plan. You CAN learn to enjoy the challenge of not knowing what is going to happen AND know you can handle it creatively!
What could I get from this coaching/training that I couldn’t get from reading a book, viewing a DVD, or attending a lecture?
Telling (or showing) isn’t training. You can pick up basic principles and great tips from any of these methods. What you can’t get is practice - the RIGHT kind of practice. Supportive feedback will help you get on track, so you are perfecting the good habits – not the bad ones!
It’s essential that you take time to experiment and see what works best in conjunction with your own style, personality, and specific content. Even more important, you need to know what works best when you are faced with the unexpected. You can and should prepare for that. Amazingly enough, it takes practice to be able to easily and effectively improvise and change gears when you have to.
Lots of people will give you advice – what supposedly works for them. YOU have to find out what works for YOU. With the right kind of practice, you learn to tap your personal stories and develop your own infectious personality. You can influence others if you are at ease and able to focus on the unique person in front of you (instead of on yourself) and make a personal connection. And that takes practice – not a formula!
What problems and situations can improv training help with?
Actual on-your-feet training can prepare you to go with the flow and be at ease in any situation. You learn to relax and think more clearly in the midst of uncertainty and change. Then you can summon that relaxation and in-control feeling in a crisis, instead of feeling in over your head.
What stresses YOU out? Working with clients, co-workers, the team? Speaking up in a meeting or class? Addressing an audience? Meeting new people or networking? Interviewing? Whatever it is, you can turn it around and begin to trust yourself to perform effectively – and even enjoy it!
Why bother with face-to-face training? These days, we communicate by Internet and phone.
It’s true that more “relationships” are being developed and more business and training is conducted online. It’s easier than getting people together physically. And, with budget and time limitations, online training is a boon. We all like a fast fix.
But, is it really a fix? Is it the most effective way to go? Online, it’s easy to be insensitive, impersonal, misunderstood, or ignored. It’s easy to be unaware of a misstep and because you missed important cues, you’re unable to recover lost ground. And, it’s easy to get distracted by technical bleeps and delayed feedback.
We’ll always need in-person meetings. Think of all the times when you meet with others. Something special happens when we can interact with one another face-to-face. And during those times, wouldn’t you like to be at your best? Improv will help you develop essential face-to-face communication skills. This training will also prepare you to be more aware and effective (and less clueless!) when you really must go the online route.
What other communication issues you do cover?
I can help you with most any issue that affects your success with other people and your enjoyment at home and work. We can work on:
Skills in all of these areas can be enhanced through improvisation-based communication training – because you will get better results when you prepare for challenging situations through practice scenarios. Training gets you ready and helps you stay ready, so you can deal with whatever rolls your way.
||Decreasing stage fright and performance anxiety.|
||Composing more compelling speeches or presentations.|
||Conducting performance reviews.|
||Getting people to talk with you.|
||Keeping cool when your hot buttons are pushed.|
||Encouraging active participation in learning activities.|
||Presenting your ideas clearly.|
Who needs this kind of coaching?
Anyone who makes a living communicating—which is all of us! Even if you work in a closet, alone, with a computer all day, there are times when you have to interact with others.
Improv training is one of the fastest ways to develop solid skills in communication, leadership, and team building. If you need to motivate, inspire, sell, collaborate, persuade, lead, and innovate…you will benefit. If you need to build confidence, manage change, deal with difficult people or disagreements…you will benefit. And if you want to interview, teach, problem-solve, counsel, coach others to greater success….you will benefit. To be really successful with other people, we need to communicate in ways that make them feel valued and heard. That means being a good listener as well as a good speaker, being able to take charge as well as let others take the lead, and being flexible enough to listen with a willingness to be changed. These are the focal points of improv-based communication training and coaching.
What services do you provide?
||Interactive presentations, keynotes, seminars, and education sessions for companies, organizations, and teams.|
||Shadow evaluations and one-to-one coaching for individual business professionals.|
||Improv-based communication workshops and classes for the public.|
||Small vendor fairs for networking and presentation practice.|
||Success groups for business professionals.|
The goal is for business people to stand out, feel more confident, and enjoy better results when they have to think on their feet face to face: before an audience, in a group, or one-to one. Sessions can be customized to meet client needs.
How do I decide between signing up for a workshop or one-to-one coaching?
If you have a specific presentation scheduled for the near future and want help preparing it, a one-to-one session might be just right for you. Maybe one session will be enough. Or, maybe you will want a couple sessions, spread out, to help you hone your material and delivery one step at a time. If you are conducting a series of trainings, we could meet between to evaluate the effectiveness of each and strategize for the next in your series.
A workshop or seminar might be the right choice if you need to enhance or develop a number of communication or presentation skills to use regularly on the job. A group session might be right for you if you want to try out new material or become more spontaneous and note-free. Maybe you suspect you have untapped potential that could take you to the next level. Group sessions give you many opportunities to practice before an audience and gain feedback from multiple perspectives. You learn a lot by both being “onstage” and being in someone else’s audience. You learn how to respectfully give, receive, and evaluate feedback.
You might need a combination of individual and group sessions. A complimentary consultation can help you decide. Call today to talk about the possibilities.
Do you videotape practice sessions or presentations?
Occasionally, I provide videotaping during a public class. Everyone watches the playbacks and learns what to look for. This is for educational purposes only. A company that hires me for training and wants video, provides for the taping. In one-on-one coaching, I will help you practice before your own camera and help you improve your performance so you have a short, compelling video to post to your site.
Normally, I do not tape. Sessions help you learn to increase your awareness in the moment. Your progress is delayed if you tune out and wait nervously for the video to reveal all and confirm your imagined flaws. Instead, you are encouraged to notice and accept nervousness as it occurs and learn to take charge of it, rather than letting it take charge of you.
Afterwards, you get to report on what you liked about your “performance” and what would have made it better, before you hear from others. Then you get feedback from others and learn to evaluate it, looking for patterns and golden nuggets that you may have been unaware of.
In other words, with your growing self-awareness, you learn to give yourself “instant replay” and in-time coaching. You become aware of your distracting mannerisms during a presentation and learn to calmly self-correct. You tune into the ease or discomfort of a new approach. It’s a process that improves with practice.
I don’t discourage seeing yourself on tape. It’s a valuable experience, when the time is right. That is, when you are really ready to fine-tune. But years of experience have shown me that often people aren’t as close to fine-tuning as they imagine they are.
We are more likely to use audio-recording. Clients are encouraged to record their one-to-one coaching sessions or speeches. Playing these back periodically helps them keep their goals in mind; get used to listening to themselves speak; find ways to vary their vocal delivery; and easily remember specific points, stories, and phrases they want to use without having to memorize
Will you train me to use PowerPoint?
If you have a PowerPoint presentation and want feed-back on its effectiveness, I can help you evaluate and improve upon its use. Too often people use it as a crutch and defeat their purpose. My main focus is to help you become all you can be by yourself. People want to hear YOU and be informed and entertained. If you can learn to carry the day without such an aid, you will develop your own skills more fully. Then, you will have a better understanding of how to use PowerPoint as an enhancement (rather than the main attraction) and be unflappable when technology fails.