Improv for the Rest of Us and Those Who Want to Work with Insanely Great Ensembles

Workshop Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Improv is not just for comedy. This workshop will teach participants some of the techniques of improvisation and ideas on how it can be used in at work. There are studies that suggest improv does help us all to become better team members, learners, innovators, and communicators.

Presenters

Russ McMahon has been teaching IT related subject matter for over 37 years and is a faculty member in the School of Information Technology at the University of Cincinnati. He has been teaching full-time at University of Cincinnati since 1999 and helped create the BS Information Technology degree which started in 2004. Prior coming to UC he has taught at several area high schools and spent more than 8 years in the IT world. He teaches courses in computer programming, database administration, business intelligence, and cybersecurity. He is very active in the IT user group community having served on the boards of multiple groups (currently on the Cincinnati Chapter of Infragard) and helped create TechLife Cincinnati. In 2014, he spent 6 months working at three universities in three different countries (Rwanda, Kenya, and South Africa) in Africa doing IT curriculum development. While at Mount Kenya University in Thika, he traveled to their various campuses giving a talk on creativity and creative problem solving. He maintains a blog about the local IT groups and another on UC’s computing history.

Extended Abstract

This workshop will teach participants some of the basics of improvisation and ideas on how it can be used in at work. There are studies that suggest improv does help us all to become better team members, learners, innovators, and communicators. Companies are using improv methods as a way of creating more innovative and collaborative teams. This is a method that can be used from brainstorming to create a better work environment by stressing “Yes” before “No”. Improv training can help everyone become better learners and make learning more enjoyable. Come and learn about improv and why companies such as IDEO, Google, Marriott, and Twitter have embraced this technique to build a culture that promotes better communication, collaboration, and team building. This workshop is an interactive workshop. Please attend and have fun learning how to be more positive, vulnerable, attentive, and playful in your daily grind.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to
1. Identify areas where improv can be used in their daily lives and work.
2. Perform some basis improv components.
3. Create improv games based upon a given topic.
4. Understand how failure fits into life-long learning.
5. Exemplify the “Yes And” mantra in their classes.

Agenda:

1. Introspective: 15 minutes.
What is improv
A brief history of improv
Who’s who in improv
Literature review
Who uses improv
Rules of improv
2. Warmup games: 20 minutes.
3. Paired improv: 20 minutes.
4. Building an ensemble: 20 minutes.
5. Retrospective: 15 minutes
Discussion
Active Learning
Resources