Businesses turn to improv for competitive edge

Published: May. 9, 2018 at 10:01 AM CDT
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Businesses looking for the competitive edge are turning to improv comedy to improve their skills.

Todd Rice initially founded

to help raise money for charities, calling the shows Comedies with a Cause. Over time, Rice said the shows became larger and companies started taking interest.

Now THEY improv also works with companies across the nation to provide team building activities and to help employees build their communication skills.

“The idea of it was that it’s not me; it’s what ‘they’ do,” said Rice, noting why he named his company.

Rice came to Wichita to work with realtors with the

. At first, they told Eyewitness News they were a little skeptical.

“I was intrigued. I thought, ‘Hm… improv for realtors?’” said Wendy Carter.

“I was like ‘no way!’” said Tim Drennan. “But the more I thought about it, I thought okay, something different, something challenging…”

The concept is called applied improvisation.

“It’s taking the idea of improv and the lessons learned and applying it to the business world,” said Rice.

Rice said realtors, and really anyone in business, have to know how to communicate.

“They need to be able to not go, ‘Oh no! I’ve never heard that question before. What am I going to do?’” said Rice.

Together the group of about a dozen participants practiced thinking on their feet, doing exercises and playing games that required them to listen and react.

Of course there was some laughter involved.

“It was just delightful. The time went fast and we’ve taken away some good information,” said Todd Woodburn, president of Realtors of South Central Kansas.

They agreed it was fund and helped them improve their communication skills.

“Highly recommend it for anyone,” said Drennan.

“Anyone in any industry could benefit from this,” said Carter.

You could say, these realtors are “sold.”