HAMWIC’S IMPROV BOUT WITH SPROUT
Learning with Laughter
16 Toastmasters benefited from the excellent six hour improvisation workshop delivered by Sprout Ideas on the wet drizzly Sunday that was 24th January 2016. The smell of coffee and Danish pastries greeted attendees as they arrived at 10 am. As they settled into orange plastic seats, Dave Bourn, ably supported by trainee Improv Coach, Joules, explained that people often think they have to be funny to do improvisation well but trying too hard to think of something comical to say could actually stifle the free flow of thought. Improvisation, Dave explained, is about listening to and feeding from others in the group.
Participants worked in pairs, small groups and as a collective – synchronising words and movements to create energetic currents that pushed some individuals to the edge of their comfort zones and a little beyond which is when creativity exploded and truly brilliant funny sketches were born. There was an interview with a three headed wise man who had trained a small giraffe to do his ironing, a delinquent son’s explanation to his worried father of why he was painting their dining room purple and banter between a scientist and lab assistant without using the letter, “s” in any of their words.
Judging by the enormous smiles and positive verbal feedback, the day was a great success and attendees left with the warm confidence that comes from being in total harmony with a group of fellow human beings. As Toastmasters, future benefits include improved listening for accurate evaluations, descriptive story telling for speeches and imaginative tales for table topics.