Improv Games for Communication
Communication lies at the heart of relationships. While many improv games and scenes rely on words for their ‘success’, there is far more going on with our body language and other cues that we may not even be aware of. Keeping our senses aware and our attention outwards can vastly help how efficiently and productively we can communicate.
1. Yes and
It is time or the bedrock of all improv games. The tenet of our entire artform. However well we may know this, and however many times it has already been done, it is always a good starting point for a group.
- Get into pairs.
- 1st person suggests an activity starting with the word ‘Let’s’. Eg. ‘Let’s draw a fish’
- 2nd person responds with ‘yes and…’ before adding something to the idea.
- Every subsequent sentence starts with ‘yes and’
- It might go like this…
- ‘Let’s draw a fish’
- ‘Yes and let’s colour it purple’
- ‘Yes and let’s make it psychedelic’
- ‘Yes and then it could come to life’
- ‘Yes and then we could have psychedelic fish and chips’ etc.
- Make sure, however clunky it may feel to start each response with the actual words, Yes and…’
- Try to ensure that the next idea does actually follow on. For example, ‘Let’s draw a fish’, ‘Yes and let’s go to the moon’ are just two separate ideas.
- A deeper understanding of what kind of person you are.
- A tool for idea generation
- The bedrock of improv.
2. Three in a circle
I always say this is a way or practising ‘Yes and’, it’s very silly and one of my faves if you get time.
- Stand in a circle.
- 1 person steps in and says ‘I am a BLANK’ and names ANYTHING.
- 2 more people add to the original idea by joining them in the circle and naming 2 more ‘things’ that seem obvious to go with the 1st.
- E.g Person 1: I am a cat
- Person 2: I am a mouse
- Person 3: I am a piece of cheese
- Next the originator chooses to keep one of the other ideas to follow, so person 1 says ‘keep the cheese’
- The other 2 people step out and we start again with anyone from the circle jumping in
- e.g Person 3 (repeats): I am a piece of cheese
- Person 4: I am a cracker
- Person 5: I am a fine wine
- The game goes on as above for as long as is fun.
- Try to embody/pretend to be the things
- It’s more helpful to jump in with ‘nothing’ as it helps with the ‘got your back’ mentality.
- If you know everyone is willing to jump in, you feel more empowered to yourself.
- Building on ‘Yes and’
- Creating ideas as a group
3. 1-20 scene
This really focuses on body language and non-verbal communication. Also gives people the chance to be in a scene without the pressure of words.
- Three people are ‘on stage’
- Two people start the scene but purely using the consecutive numbers from 1-20.
- Encourage the 2 people to have the same emotional tone and to ‘agree’ with their body language.
- At around number 12, the third person joins the scene with a different or opposing energy.
- Scene finishes at 20 and audience wildly applauds
- See if you can take your time with your lines
- See how closely you can match your scene partner’s body language and speech
- Scene work
- Non verbal communication
Not sure you can land this one? Call The Maydays, and we can deliver these games either as part of a CPD accredited Business Improv Workshop, or as a free-standing energiser sequence at a conference or industry event.
We also create and deliver custom improvisation workshops for your business. Here are some of the most popular improv training formats in London, across the UK and internationally.
The Maydays are one of the longest established and renowned improvisation companies in the UK. We deliver comedy improv shows around the world, run regular improv classes in London and Brighton, and regularly deliver custom business improv solutions for organisations. Read how improv at work works here!
We would love to hear about your experiences trying these improv games. To tell us about it, or to find out how we can bring Improv Training to your life and work, get in touch