The Conversation: IMPROV Your Listening and Presentation Skills

SWERVE June Program 2016 pic-2Are you a good listener? A confident presenter? How well you pay attention and present yourself will impact your relationships with coworkers, clients, family and friends either for the better or worse. So, how do you improve your communication skills? According to Jen Brown, founder of The Engaging Educator, improv can help because it will force you to be present and to listen. Join us for the Swerve meetup on Thursday, June 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with speaker Jen Brown. Take part in a variety of improv games and work on your listening skills and pitch “performance.” Attendees are asked to bring a 60-90 second pitch to practice. This program is free for Swerve members and $20 for non-members – registration is required.

Let’s face it, listening and presenting is an acquired skill. It may come easy for some, but requires practice for most. Brown, an improv entrepreneur and former museum educator, feels improv is the perfect tool for helping you improve your listening and presentation skills.  Why? You must listen and stay engaged.

jenedit2-e1439325079393“In today’s world, we live in an agenda oriented world and have forgotten how to listen. Improv forces us to listen and to present our thoughts clearly,” said Brown.

So what is improv? Well it’s not standup comedy, although it is hilarious at times.  And, it’s not just for actors. In fact, improv has transcended beyond theatre walls and is used by many companies to  foster better communication and idea generation among team members.

Here’s how it works – you receive information from someone – a gift, you accept it, and add to it. There are no props, just words, and gestures. In order to build upon what was already said you have to stay engaged at all times then build upon the gift you received by presenting a new gift. Your tone, body language, and how well you connect your gift with the gift you received will impact the experience for all involved. Synergy happens naturally, that’s if people are listening. Now, we all know what happens when we don’t listen and communicate well – things are likely to fall apart.

improvDo you need to work on your listening and presentation skills? We can probably all use a little help in this area. Join us for the June 16th Swerve event at Flywheel from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with speaker Jen Brown. Remember to bring your 60-90 second pitch to practice. Free for Swerve members and $20 for non-members. Registration is required. To learn more about the Center for Creative Economy’s Swerve program, visit

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