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The power of story

This programme will help you unpack and apply the essentials of story. Don't embark on change without it!

Stories are how we make meaning and navigate the world.

Study after study confirms that well-told stories build trust, strengthen relationships, and help us come together around the things that matter.

So the ability to tell clear, engaging stories is essential, and this workshop will help you to ditch dull and communicate with more range and impact.

What is a story?

Stories are more than personal anecdotes and are deeply woven into our daily conversations, our ways of meeting, and in the way we frame our marketing messages, change initiatives and cultural narratives.

We tell big stories and small ones. And both are important in helping us connect with others, influence decisions, understand ideas and inspire change.

From this vantage we can see the power of stories to shape the world around us.

Learning content

We are all innate storytellers, and this workshop will build on your existing skills and knowledge to help you shape and share stories with more insight and impact.

You will get to work on crafting a story that connects with your audiences in a business context, or beyond. And you’ll get to practice telling the story and refine it through interactions with others participants.

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Understand how story works as a tool for making meaning and influencing
  • Identify your message and how it connects with the values and need of your audience
  • Craft stories using simple structures that convey the heart of your message
  • Experience telling stories and adapting them for different audiences

Open workshops

We run this programme as a half-day open workshop and there are some dates coming up in Autumn 2023. See What’s On for details.

Where this fits

– You’d like to be more confident at crafting and telling stories
– You want to know how to deeply connect with your audience
– You’d like more range and impact to the stories you tell
– Your team or group needs to refresh or reframe it’s story

What you’ll learn

Identifying your message
Getting to the heart of what you want to say

Connecting with your audience
Identifying their needs, values and preferences

Delivering it well
Practicing your story and learning out loud

Story structure
Learning to use simple structures that make al the difference

Tailored for your group

Tailored for your group
All our learning experiences are tailored to your needs so this can be delivered in a variety of formats.

We run this programme in-person (usually as a 3.5 hour workshop) and online (usually 2.5 hours) but we can run it in a number of ways, or as part of a wider programme.

Let’s talk!

Improvisation is anything that happens in the moment without a fixed plan or script. In classes and shows with Here & Now this looks like games, scenes, stories and even whole plays made up on the spot.

There is a common view that improvisation is the last resort of the unprepared amateur. We see if differently.

We like Jill Bernard and Patrick Short’s definition of improvisation as ‘A highly refined system for observing, connecting and responding.’ To put it another way it’s all about opening up, noticing more and using what’s there. 

Just like fish are the last to see the water (apparently). So human’s are the last to see that sensing-and-responding in real time is their superpower. The skill we use from the moment of birth onwards. 

It’s an incredible ability to listen and respond in the moment, and it takes a mix of knowledge, skill, openness and flexibility. Simply put, life demands that we improvise well in the boardroom, in the bedroom in the back room building a business. To do otherwise is to stop engaging and get stuck.

As an artform or a-thing-to-do it’s an enjoyable way of making your own entertainment, which is what everyone did before TV. And it’s an impermanent or transient artform. It happens in the moment and it disappears just as it arrives (like life, eh). This is a big attraction for many as you don’t have to commit to words on a page or paint on canvas to express your creativity. You do it with other people, it’s always imperfect, and it’s a great show of humanity.

Going one step further it’s using what you’ve got, where you are. It’s enough to start a revolution. Which will of course be improvised.

Best of all improvisation attracts people who are kind, generous and playful.

Of course we’re biassed but we think it’s pretty special.

In our classes (usually 10-12 people) you’ll discover the principles and techniques of improvisational play with scenes, stories and characters. Guided by our teachers you’ll discover how to make scenes that are easy and delightful with quick agreement and playful co-operation. 

It’s not stand up – so you won’t be alone on stage and you won’t be telling jokes. And no, you don’t have to be funny – just come as you are, don’t try too hard, and we’ll take care of the rest!

You might be surprised to learn that there is more to improv than ‘Whose line is it anyway?’ style games where the fun comes quickly and impulsively. Alongside these games we will introduce a style of play that is unhurried, truthful, and where characters and stories emerge naturally and bring even greater delight.

Either way we guarantee that you will be entertained and laughing out loud in a happy state of flow. Seriously, Netflix has nothing on real human connection.

You don’t need any acting, improv or comedy experience at all to join our classes. We welcome complete beginners and anyone who is just a little bit curious.

Beware: spending time with open-minded and open-hearted improvisers is seriously addictive. Most people who do a beginners improv class with us go on to do more classes!

What you will learn

You will learn principles and techniques for improvising including:

• Listening and accepting ideas

• Being present in the moment

• Creating fun stories, scenes and characters

• Self-expression and emotional connection

• Working as a group and supporting each other

• Having confidence in your own ideas

• Mental flexibility and adaptability

• Delighting your scene partners

The classes are a great way to make new friends, build confidence, gain insights into instant creative collaboration. The simple joy of spontaneous freedom is perfect for finding new inspiration in life.

Our classes are open to absolutely anyone aged 18 and over and we only use accessible venues. 

Coming to your first class or workshop can be daunting, but if you fancy trying improv, you really should! You can contact us if you want to talk about it or ask questions.

Many of the best things in life come with ‘butterflies’, so if this appeals to you at some level, we say give it a go!

Low pressure and high in fun, our improvisation classes are great for anyone curious about improvisation, collaboration and self-expression.

Absolutely anyone can improvise and it is a lot of fun. No experience necessary.

If want to make new friends and laugh while getting in touch with your spontaneous creative side, then you’ll  enjoy this.

None of us goes through life with a script telling us what to do and we wouldn’t want one even if it was available.

We like to make our own decisions, take a few risks, connect with others, explore ideas and learn as we go. In other words, we improvise everyday.

So it’s good to play with this skillset and work on the craft of improvising so we can be more present in the moment, connect and create with others more easily, and learn to respond constructively in situations that feel beyond our control.

Learning to improvise gives you a chance to:

– have fun with like-minded, warm-hearted people

– do new things and play with more of your humanity

– share and express more of your feelings 

– learn more about yourself and others

– find renewed commitment to being active and creative

– decrease social anxiety with new skills and perspectives

– increase tolerance for uncertainty

There’s lots more too but that will do for now!

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