Welcome to

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Where Business... Meets Improv

Shann Doing Improv

Improvisation (Improv for short) is commonly thought of as a comedy performance style where "making things up on the spot" or "being quick on your feet" make for an entertaining show. While true, there is more going on than the audience may realize. Improv is grounded in a set of powerful, time tested communication and awareness techniques. Taking these techniques off the stage and applying them to everyday work situations can help you achieve business results.

Employ Improv in your workplace and here are just some of the benefits you may see:

  • Enhanced listening and communication skills leading to higher levels of individual and team engagement

  • Development of environment of deeper trust to unleash creativity and problem solving

  • Increased strength and capacity for leadership

Image of Nancy in Action

Our Offerings

We are available for one-on-one coaching, speaking engagements, or delivering customized programs and workshops. Below you'll find a selection of workshops built around popular business themes. Treat these as guidelines—we are ready to recommend a tailored approach that is adapted to your organization.

Please contact us to understand how Working Improv applies to your organization or event. Drop us a note at info@WorkingImprov.com

Workshops

Working Improv: Play for Creativity

This fun session introduces participants to the power of play and fundamentals of improvisation to tap creativity. Research explains how play shapes our brains, inspires creativity and creates competence. For workers in the digital economy, creativity is mined in the fields of inspiration. Unleashing creativity through play is a powerful experience and members will leave feeling invigorated and motivated to take back to their teams exercises that inspire and focus on results.

Working Improv for Teams: Blasting through with TNT ("Trust N' Teams")

Strong teams with a high level of trust are like dynamite that can blast through any obstacle. Without a foundation of trust, teams lack the speed and agility required to compete on today's world stage. This fun and highly interactive session will use time-tested communication and awareness techniques from the field of improvisation to help participants create an employee engagement action plan for their organizations. Along with a few laughs, the session's souvenirs will be the positive implications of leading with "yes", the benefits of focused listening, and the value of communicating clear intention.

Working Improv for Sales Success: Spontaneous Genius

As a seasoned sales professional you know that you need to be ready for anything—to adjust at a moment’s notice, to overcome objections, to deftly bring new perspectives to the table and, to always, always turn a negative into a positive. The nimble-footed, quick-thinking Spontaneous Genius is armed with tools embracing the three A's: Accept, Acknowledge, and Accelerate. This fun and highly interactive session will use time tested communication and awareness techniques from the field of improvisation to teach participants how to put the three A's to work:

  • Accept — Hone skills in listening and observation.

  • Acknowledge — Learn to be present and open in the moment.

  • Accelerate — React spontaneously and seamlessly to present new perspectives.

Working Improv: Executive Presence for Women

How you are perceived is one of the most important factors in your leadership portfolio. Projecting executive presence outweighs competency and experience as a critical factor in career advancement. Falling short on executive presence is often cited as the biggest barrier for women pursuing more senior positions. According to research, how you act and how you communicate account for 95% of executive presence. This workshop will focus on applying the time-tested communication and awareness techniques from the art of improvisation to the specific and most common challenges women face in establishing their executive presence. Key to this session will be understanding what and how status is conveyed, how to adjust status to advance a situation, and how communicate messages with authenticity, authority, and intention.

 Image of Shann and Kim in Action Image of Nancy in Action

Testimonials from Recent Events

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2015

"The Blast Through with Trust and Teams session gave me a new perspective on building teams and effective team work. The potential of speeding up business when everyone is open and building on ideas is powerful. I would definitely recommend this session to others. If you are fun loving and want to feel alive, spend time in Shann's session."

— Malcolm Knox, President & CEO, CCI Learning

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Toronto Education Conference 2015

"Attending a WorkingImprov session will engage you, make you laugh, and teach you. Learning can be fun!"

— Kris Knox, Director, MPI Toronto Education Conference



What Some Others Have Had to Say...

"Leading with a "Yes" has become more than a statement for me since Shann first introduced it to our team. Instead of focusing on the problem I use a "Yes, and" approach to find a solution. It never fails!"

— K. Truyens, Account Executive, Microsoft Canada

"It was fantastic! You don't need anything but the student's imaginations. Improv encouraged even the most shy and introverted student and it gave the extroverted types the opportunity to listen. I cannot say enough how powerful the afternoon this was for my students. It was one of the highlights of my teaching career."

— L. Richards, Teacher, Brookdale Elementary



The Improv Specialists Who Deliver WorkingImprov...

profile image Kim

Kimberly Beaune

Kimberly is an accomplished Events Industry professional with over 20 years of experience in event sales and management.

Known for crushing her sales targets, people are surprised to learn that she is a very shy person. Her trick? Improv! Early in her career Kimberly discovered that she could get past the shyness by playing a character: "The Outgoing and Likeable Sales Pro". Discovering improv workshops and eventually performing in improv shows gave her more confidence. It enhanced her ability to think on her feet, solve problems on the fly, and actively listen. It also taught her the value and power of saying "Yes!" For Kimberly, improv remains a way of life at work and at play.

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profile image Shann

Shann McGrail

Shann is a veteran of the technology industry. Most recently she was the Director of Microsoft’s Canadian Education Segment. Previous roles at Microsoft include a variety of sales, professional services management, and operational positions.

A strong desire to find a new creative outlet led Shann to improv. She has been studying the art of being in the moment, spontaneity, creativity, and applying those principles to her leadership style and interactions with customers and colleagues. Shann can be found performing at various venues in Oakville, Ontario.

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profile image Nancy

Nancy Watt

A graduate of the Second City comedy writing program, Nancy is skilled at writing blogs or video scripts that include a touch of humour. Her previous career as a sales executive for a large pharmaceutical firm makes her ideal to write for business entities that include a focus on healthcare, education, and business process improvement.

Nancy recently wrote, directed, and starred in "Mama Drama"—a sold-out, stand-up comedy and improv sketch show at Hamilton’s Staircase Theatre. She lives in Dundas, Ontario with her family and will do anything to avoid folding socks.

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Keep Your Improv Skills Honed with Apps

Want to review the techniques you learned in one of our workshops? Have a team-building offsite, professional development day, or other work event coming up and need some ice-breakers or fun games to get participants ready and willing to engage? We've got apps for that!

ImprovToGo

This app is a fun resource for anyone interest in the wonderful world of improvisational theatre. It is at the same time a valuable, offline reference as well as a tool for learning and performing improv. Download it for free for your Microsoft device from the Windows Store.

ImprovToGo Artwork
Download from Windows phone Store Download from Windows Store

The WorkingImprov App

Now available for your mobile device, the definitive companion to the WorkingImprov offerings. Tips, tricks, exercises, online resources, and much more to help you continue to apply the power of Improv to every day business challenges you face in your workplace.

WorkingImprov App
Download the WorkingImprov App from Windows Phone Store Download WorkingImprov App from Windows Store