Business Improv: FAQ

The Maydays offer world-class corporate improv training and tour the world to deliver it to organisations of all sizes. We answer your FAQs here…

There is no down time. There is no padding. We aim for 100% interactive improv learning.

We believe that our Maydays Corporate Training Experiences are the most concentrated training format out there. This is because there is simply no down time in our programmes and we reserve an absolute minimum amount of time during sessions for preamble, contextualisation or other padding devices. We thereby optimise the experiential learning and give our clients more of it.

Whatever your specific objectives and desired outcomes, the underlying principle will be to bring everyone in the room into the moment, focussed, listening and in a heightened state of awareness. We achieve this be first creating a totally safe and non-judgemental collaborative space. The quick-paced and often hilarious experiential activities transport people safely out of their preconceptions, comfort zones, habits and fixed thought patterns, to a place where they can start to interact with colleagues in new and refreshing ways. The longer the session, the more this approach is embedded, and the more profound its long-term effects will be.

People are often amazed to find out that a good two-thirds of The Maydays consider themselves to be introverted. Improvisation in many ways transcends that, and when we run a session, we play to the introverts in the room. Usually they come out with the funniest stuff, and the value of the quietest member of the team becomes apparent to everyone. So yes, improv works particularly well with introverts. And that doesn’t mean we’re trying to get introverts to pop out the other end of the training as extroverts. No, we like them as they are, we respect that and we work with them at their own level of comfort.

The Maydays are one of the most established improvisation groups in the UK and leaders in the development of improvisation as a robust and reliable corporate training format. We deliver workshops and development sessions across Europe and into the States. Improvisation training in the US corporate sector is mainstream. For over a decade, L&D in America has incorporated ‘improv training’ at all levels, from graduate recruitment programmes through to high-level provision for top executives.
Why? Because however detailed an organisation’s procedures are and however exhaustive the training on offer is, things still go wrong. The response is often to train harder and cover more and more eventualities, but the law of diminishing returns can make this cost prohibitive.
The other option is to build employees’ confidence, emotional intelligence and experience of being out of their comfort zone. In this way, they make better decisions under pressure and remain creative and open, using all parts of their brain, whilst others around them begin to shut down and fail.
In short, not all organisations are yet able to think this way. Those that embrace the principles of business improv will take a competitive advantage. So it’s not mainstream yet, but it’s also not some alternative untested theory.

No. A great question. But no.

When we’re planning a session for you, we’ll probably be drawing on around 150 different experiential, dynamic improvisation exercises, each of which could have up to ten different permutations depending on the desired focus. The more you can share with us about your organisation, your current challenges and opportunities, your culture and organisational development goals, the more we can adapt and fine-tune our offering to meet your needs.

Even our pure improv training (where we teach you about the transferable skills of improv and where you need to tell us very little in advance) follows a number of tried and tested principles and progressions which we’ve honed over many years.

Having a plan and an approach though doesn’t mean we don’t adapt it on the day. We do. We have very high levels of adaptability and flexibility, and it’s only when we’re in the room with your delegates that we’ll be able to apply our final level of adaptation – adapting to the mood in the room on the day. That is improvisation at its best, but we are drawing very deeply on past experiences, a long track record and hefty client list.

We spend a lot of time talking with you in the lead up to the event. Whilst our core offering has an awful lot to offer, we like to make it special and personal every time.
The Maydays Corporate Training Experiences are tailored in 3 ways, according to:
• the expressed needs of the organisation’s L&D team
• the emergent characteristics and personality types within the group
• the mood in the room on the day
What to call this training when you offer it is question we’re often asked. The word ‘improvisation’ can often conjure up images of flamboyant theatrics, stand-up comedy and the need to be funny and perform to a highly critical audience. Whilst this could not be further from the reality of what The Maydays offer, as an L&D manager it is useful, nevertheless, to consider how to propose this solution to your organisation.
If you reckon the idea of “doing improv” will send people running for fake meetings and dentists’ appointments, you could call it ‘an unorthodox and exhilarating training experience’ or ‘an exciting and unique approach’. This will awaken inquisitiveness without unduly unsettling anyone. Once in the session, it will become immediately apparent that this is one of the safest formats around and that the improvisation skills are the means to an end rather than the end in themselves.
So whilst some of our more audacious clients do ask us to challenge their people and get them up performing on stage most are seeking simply to
develop very specific skillsets which more orthodox ‘do as I say’ didactic training approaches simply cannot reach.

 Ask your own question by contacting us today