February 12, 2007

News & Opinion: Improv-e it.

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:55 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There are a lot of different ways to improve public speaking. You could "buy Knockout Presentations, a book by speech coach Diane DiResta for $19.95 [$15.96 through us] or three CDs from hypnotist Tom Nicoli for $59.77. At the other extreme, you can spend $1,995 and three days on an American Management Association seminar or hire a coach who charges about $9,000 for six months of personalized guidance." [I can't find the link but the article was in the 2.6.07 edition of the WSJ: "Improv Troupe Teaches Managers How to Give Better Presentations"]
Or, for an interesting twist, you could try your talent out with improv via Chicago's famous Second City. Each year they teach run a presentation-skills workshop for $595. It's so high in demand that in 2007, the workshop will be presented five times.
As one actress and director explained, learning improv works because "'Skills, methods, philosophy and ideas we use to create successful scenes on stage...are the same skills required for successful communications in business.'"

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.