Showing all posts tagged #improv:


Building confident relationships through improvisation - Cambridge 26 March 2015

Posted on March 16th, 2015

Would you like to feel more confident at business meetings and networking events? Come along on Thursday 26 March to meet your fellow Cambridge HR members and learn the body language secrets from improvised theatre to help you look and feel more confident in those potentially awkward moments.

Networking is one of the most profitable activities you can undertake, particularly in Cambridge where so much business is driven by word-of-mouth. It's also important for those in HR to maintain dignity in meetings and not be railroaded by difficult employees. Yet for many people all that stuff about selling yourself, working a room and maintaining authority in challenging situations can leave us feeling uncomfortable and lacking in self-confidence.

This Cambridge HR Members Event is designed to make you feel more comfortable and confident, and to make business interactions and networking more fun. We'll learn some basic techniques from improvised theatre to help us look and feel more confident, including:
  • Reading other people's body language to feel less intimidated
  • Changing our own body language to feel more confident
  • Having presence and building rapport.

No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission" — Eleanor Roosevelt.

The event costs £10 per person and is being hosted by Birketts LLP at their offices at 30 Station Road Cambridge CB1 2RE. Registration from 17:30 with the opportunity to enjoy light refreshments before the facilitated session starts at 18:00 and finishes at 19:30. Car parking is available at the station a few minutes’ walk away.

Eventbrite - Building confident relationships through improvisation

Managing Uncertainty — Anglia Ruskin University October 2014

Posted on October 15th, 2014

Uncertainty is something we face at different stages of our life from starting university, beginning a new job, moving cities. Starting and running a business is no exception this week we shall be exploring how we can go beyond managing uncertainty, make it work for us and embrace it.

Wednesday 15 October 2014 18.00 - 21.00 at Anglia Ruskin University.


Two-Prov with Stuart Reid and Antony Quinn at CB2 Bistro Cambridge

Posted on August 9th, 2014

Come see me and Stuart Reid perform our first two-prov show at CB2 Bistro tomorrow.



How to Be Yourself In Any Language at The School of Life

Posted on July 24th, 2014

Together with John-Paul Flintoff and Jude Claybourne, I ran a session in How to Be Yourself In Any Language at The School of Life on 5 July.



The feedback from participants was very encouraging:
  • “A very innovative way to learn language"
  • “Gave me more confidence. A wonderful way to connect with others"
  • “Really good fun and inspiring"
  • “Fun and creative. I would do the course again I enjoyed it so much"
  • “Very productive, thought provoking – and fun!"
John-Paul, Jude and me (photo by Barbara Le Lan)

How to be Yourself in Any Language - The School of Life - 5 July 2014

Posted on June 29th, 2014

We can all imagine what it's like to speak naturally. We did it as children, we sometimes do it with people we know well, and we see other people doing it on TV. But in practice, much of the time, many of us feel that we can't be truly "ourselves".
The greatest difficulty can come when we speak foreign languages -- a context that worsens the things that might also feel bad in our own language. Speaking foreign languages -- for work, or on holiday -- we worry about getting things "wrong", go blank, and tend to adopt a cautious, low status persona that doesn't feel comfortable for us or for other people.
This class is designed to help you speak happily and freely in ANY language (including your own), and find ways to express what needs to be expressed even when you don't have the right vocabulary -- because there's always a way to improvise.
As well as talking, this class uses theatre games, often in foreign languages, to see more clearly what we may be doing in everyday life (and because the games provide a welcome dose of laughter). You don't need to be good at languages, or acting - in fact, the less expert you are, the better.
Saturday 5 July 10.00 to 13.00 at The School of Life (London).

Beginners Improv Weekend - Peterborough May 2014

Posted on April 24th, 2014

Would you like to be able to improvise scenes and stories? Develop your confidence in speaking in front of a group? Be more creative and spontaneous?
Our experienced tutors Stuart Reid and Antony Quinn will guide you step-by-step through a weekend workshop that will take you from complete beginner to improviser. You’ll learn the core skills and practices of improvisation, and by the end of the weekend you’ll be creating characters, telling stories and playing scenes - all entirely made up on the spot!
Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 May 2014 10:30 - 17:30 at Peterborough Cathedral.
Eventbrite - Beginners Improv Weekend

Difficult Conversations - Cambridge February 2014

Posted on January 16th, 2014

This is a workshop for people who want to get better at life's difficult conversations.
The ones where there’s something at stake for us, something that we want. But where another human being is, ahem, in our way. We often devote a lot of energy to avoiding having them. We spend a lot of time in our head, or complaining out loud to our friends, about the difficult character of the person we would like to engage with but can’t.
Lots of courses are run on “dealing with difficult people" for this reason. These tend to be quite long on analysis and full of very intelligent sounding principles and frameworks. The trouble is that these courses idealise how we should hold our conversations. We think this can be disempowering… few of us can really live up to these ideals and the effort to do so can either leave us feeling we have failed, or leave us in a space of restrained politeness where we’re just repressing our more animal selves, albeit more skilfully than before.
The Clue is in the Title
We think the clue is in the title. Difficult conversations are difficult. We don’t help ourselves by attempting to make them easy by mental effort… in fact that often just makes the psychological rut deeper.
And since difficult conversations have high stakes, we don’t normally get many shots at having them.
In this workshop, we'll use a very specific type of role play where participants can experiment with different ways to have the conversation. With a big emphasis on playfully trying stuff out, and without putting too much effort into analysing or idealising. We think of it as the rapid prototyping of behaviour. It brings some of the wisdom of the maker and agile movements to the training sphere.
A Process of Discovery
We see difficult conversations as an opportunity to experiment and uncover bits of ourselves that we don’t always deploy. It’s a process of discovery and it can be so much more energising and exciting than attempting to follow a set of rules.
We are limiting the group to six particpants (plus ourselves) which we feel will make for a deeper personal experience. We think you'll gain a better understanding of a more productive way to experiment with your difficult conversations.
Thursday 6 February 2014 10:00 - 13:00 at Cambridge Union Society.
Eventbrite - Difficult Conversations

The Benefits of Improv for UK Language Learners

Posted on January 10th, 2014

Many people in the UK already have a basic knowledge of one or more foreign languages, yet lack the confidence to use this knowledge effectively.

In fact, many people feel anxious precisely in the languages they have learned - because school teaches us to fear “getting it wrong". The same people, at large in a country where they have no language training at all, will tend to improvise with no such fear of failure.

But what would it be like if you didn’t feel that fear, to speak your chosen language fearlessly? By allowing people to speak language in that state of confidence, we aim to greatly accelerate their learning and multiply their enjoyment.

Using techniques from improvised theatre, we help to grow people’s self-confidence abroad or in meetings with people from other cultures.

To be precise: we’re not teaching languages. We’re helping you make better use of what you already know.

Benefits of improvisational theatre games:
  • Improvisation is not scripted - and nor is everyday life. Playing improv games provides a safe space to try things for daily use
  • In improv, as in life, the only way to understand is to “get out of your own head" and pay careful attention to what is happening around you.
  • Improv games can be used to reduce fear and anxiety in performers on stage - they teach that it’s OK to make mistakes
  • Using gibberish, improvisers learn to communicate with body language and mime and facial expressions - even managing to create complex storylines. To experience this is to realise how much we can communicate with even meagre language skills
  • Improv games can be given context like role-play, such as “at the cafe" or “at the airport"
Our next course is Thursday 16 January 2014 13:00 - 16:30 at Cambridge Business Lounge.


Eventbrite - Be Yourself in Any Language

Unhurried Chinwag - Cambridge 11 January 2014

Posted on January 8th, 2014

I'm co-hosting an Unhurried Chinwag with Hugh Chapman at The Junction in Cambridge where we'll be talking about the art of slowness in improv, clowning and physical theatre, with a view to running a series of workshops over the coming months.
It would be great to hear your thoughts and ideas. We'll be upstairs in the mezzanine from 2.30pm.

Be Yourself in Any Language - Cambridge January 2014

Posted on December 23rd, 2013


We can all imagine what it’s like to speak entirely naturally. We did it as children, we sometimes do it with people we know well, and we see other people doing it on TV. But in practice, much of the time, many of us feel that we can’t be truly “ourselves".
Often the greatest difficulty comes when we speak foreign languages -- a context that worsens the things that might also feel bad in our own language. Speaking foreign languages -- for work, or on holiday -- we worry about getting things “wrong", we go blank, and we tend to adopt a cautious, low status persona that doesn’t feel comfortable for us or for other people.
This class is designed to help you speak happily and freely in ANY language (including your own), and find ways to express what needs to be expressed even when you don’t have the right vocabulary -- because there’s always a way to improvise.
As well as talking, this class uses improvisational theatre games, often in foreign languages, to see more clearly what we may be doing in everyday life -- and because the games provide a welcome dose of laughter. You don’t need to be good at languages -- or acting. In fact, the less expert you are, the better.
Thursday 16 January 2014 13:00 - 16:30 at Cambridge Business Lounge.
Eventbrite - Be Yourself in Any Language

Antony Quinn

Technology consultant, actor & improviser.