What happens in an ‘improv’ session?

IMPROV - short for improvisation - is a highly participatory workshop. Participants work in pairs, small groups (4-5) or even the whole group, to play a variety of ‘games’ or exercises that challenge them to solve a problem, while observing a particular restriction which stimulates their creativity. Some of the activities are more physical, some are more verbal, most combine both. It’s usually a noisy session, with lots of laughter and activity.

An improv session is not about staging a ‘performance’ – we’re not acting Shakespeare! Usually everyone is working simultaneously, albeit in separate pairs/groups.

As the workshop progresses, participants will realize that they need to be

These attitudes are all key to good teamwork.

Typical of the feedback received after an improv session:


Storytelling is natural and easy, entertaining and energizing.

Stephen Denning,
The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling


Back in the mists of time when only the monks and the monarchy could write, there three ways in which we learnt: first by having a go at it.  

When that didn't work, or you wanted to improve: by watching someone who knew how to do it.  

Then at the end of the day when the sun had set and it got too dark to see what anyone was doing: by listening to that 'someone' tell you about the time when they. . .

Weaver - Grazing Animals Project, 2003

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