Improve your Presentations with Applied Improvisation
Learn how to improve your presentations in a unique and relaxed way. Learn how to make a meaningful connection with your audience, how to listen and observe with attention and how to tell clear stories.
- 6 sessions of 2 hours (once a week: 17.00 - 19.00h)
- Course fee
- € 395 (excl. VAT)
Science does not exist without communication. Explaining what you do, why you do it and why it is so important is an essential part of your work. Of course, you yourself are an expert at what you do. So why is it often so difficult to tell a interesting and informative story about your research?
Improvisation and communication
Maybe you have seen jazz musicians or improvisation actors perform together. They seem to understand their fellow players 'automatically' and seem to be able to anticipate almost magically. Of course, there is no magic at play, these artists have learned to improvise. Improvisation may sound like unprepared patchwork, but in fact it is a clear method to learn how to respond spontaneously to people and circumstances anytime and anywhere.
Improvisation training teaches you to be confident and to stay relaxed under pressure. You learn not to be afraid to make mistakes, how to observe well, and to react immediately to changing circumstances in a natural way. The application of these methods in science is new for The Netherlands.
In this workshop, you will work with Applied Improvisation. For years now, the method is being applied by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. Under guidance of the actor Alan Alda, known for the 'MASH' television series, more than 8,000 scientists have already been trained with great success.
With practice, you can learn to develop your improvisational skills. Not so much to learn to act, but rather to make a meaningful connection with your audience by listening and observing with attention, presenting clear and inspiring stories and by adapting your message on the spot.
Spreekmeesters wants to teach the current and new generation of scientists and engineers the skills to present their work more directly, clearly and effectively to colleagues, opinion leaders, policy makers, politicians, the media, and others within and outside of their own discipline. Visit the website for more information.
Staying in the moment
Often, when you present or speak you are preoccupied by other things: the next meeting, your phone messages or an article you still need to finish. As an improviser you learn to pay attention only to what you are doing right now. By learning to be fully engaged with what is happening at the moment, you can better understand what someone is saying and doing and respond directly to it. This makes you a better communicator.
Making your audience the center of your attention
You will notice that communication gets easier when you focus your attention on the other person rather than on yourself. Improvisation works best when improvisers are thinking about what they can do for others, while suppressing their ego as much as possible. By being less concerned about yourself, you will make the other person feel more at ease and receive a lot of goodwill from your audience in return.
As a scientist, you know that mistakes are needed to move forward. Still, you want to prevent them intuitively, which causes stress, and makes it more likely that you will actually make mistakes. In these workshops you will learn to break this vicious circle. You learn that making mistakes is actually a good thing and learn how to deal with them in a relaxed way.
Scientists, managers and professionals in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, working in an R&D, production or laboratory environment. Master/Bachelor+ work and thinking level.
Group size: 8-16 persons
During the six workshops you perform improvisation exercises developed by one of the founders of Improvisation Theatre, Viola Spolin. These exercises help you to better concentrate on what is happening at the moment and to spontaneously produce words, thoughts and gestures. Just as you do in real life.
The exercises are all designed with a specific purpose in mind and often seem quite simple. For example, keeping your eyes on a ball while throwing it or trying to mirror your fellow player’s gestures. These exercises will help you to suppress your self-awareness and stop thinking, comparing and judging. By continuously making the link with daily practice and working from concrete examples, you learn step by step to master complex communication techniques and skills.
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