In today’s episode, we cover the importance of improvising with Kelly Leonard. Kelly’s career in the theater industry began by accident. He was hired as a dishwasher at Second City in Chicago, where he met John Favreau. He realized improv was not magic, but a skill that could be practiced and applied in business, parenting, and relationships. Kelly established himself as an executive producer for Second City, coordinating performances for generations of comics, actors, and writers. Kelly has written a book, “Yes, And,” outlining how he believes the core principles behind improvisation can be applied to spark and drive collaboration.
In this episode of The Art of Charm, we explore the world of improvisation and its many benefits in communication, comedy, and creativity. From empathy and collaboration to resilience through failure, our guest speaker shares his experiences using improv to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty. We discuss the importance of listening, reframing, and storytelling, as well as the concept of post traumatic growth.
What to Listen For
- Introduction – 0:00
- How did Kelly Leonard get started in improv?
- Why is improv important for innovation?
- The Core Principles of Improv – 10:58
- What are the core principles of improv and why do they apply to many areas of life?
- How do you lead a healthy conversation with someone you disagree with?
- The Magic of Mistakes – 24:02
- How do we leverage mistakes to create success or make progress toward your goals?
- What simple exercise can you use to reframe negative events in your life to be positive?
- Creating Comedy – 42:30
- How do you formally create comedy?
- How do you give status to people you’re talking to?
- What simple tool can you start using today to make conversations easier, engaging, and more fun for anyone involved?
Many of us are familiar with improv comedy but did you know the principles of improv can be used in business, parenting, and relationships? Every time you have a conversation with someone, you are improvising because you can’t predict what the other person will say and so you must improvise every time the other person responds to something you say. The best conversations are fluid and dynamic, making both people feel comfortable and natural. But to be good at improvising, you must practice it just like you would any other skill.
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Resources from this Episode
- Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration by Kelly Leonard
- Kelly Leonard on Twitter
- Second City’s website
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