34 Reasons To Learn Improv

Posted on 12 January 2013

I perform with an improvisation troupe, People’s Liberation Improv, in Hong Kong, and people often ask me why I think it’s a good idea for anyone to learn and practise improvisation, even if they have no intention of ever performing in public.

People’s Liberation Improv at the TakeOut Comedy Club Hong Kong

I say it’s because it improves your ability to:

  1. Accept what’s happening in the here and now, and build on it (“Yes, and…”)
  2. Spot patterns and unexpected connections between unrelated things
  3. Combine two ideas in unexpected ways
  4. Tell compelling stories
  5. Have fun, and take yourself (and life and business) less seriously
  6. Think on your feet
  7. Be spontaneous
  8. Change course quickly if circumstances require it
  9. Experiment, take risks, fail and try again
  10. Spot opportunities
  11. Spot needs
  12. Solve problems
  13. Be emotionally intelligent, i.e., to “read” people and situations, and understand psychology (your own and other people’s)
  14. Try on different characters and behaviours, and see things from a different perspective
  15. Understand and play with the dynamics of status in a group
  16. Make your team-mates or colleagues look good
  17. Make bold choices and decisions
  18. Listen and observe
  19. Come up with lots of creative, innovative ideas
  20. Be open to ideas from other people
  21. Lead
  22. Follow
  23. Surrender control and let go of your preconceived ideas about what could/should happen
  24. Get comfortable with ambiguity, chaos, randomness, surprises…
  25. Let go of judgement (of yourself and others)
  26. Focus on others instead of yourself
  27. Handle interviews
  28. Trust others (and yourself)
  29. Present your ideas confidently
  30. Sell your ideas/products/services
  31. Communicate more effectively
  32. Invite participation
  33. Do something that feels scary
  34. Make people laugh, cry, empathise…

Those are all pretty useful skills, in life and in business, don’t you agree?

Can you think of any other good reasons to learn and practise improv?


2 responses to 34 Reasons To Learn Improv

  • ken says:

    Give your audience an “Ah Hah” moment as they think outside the box.

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