Think improv is all about being funny and clever? Think again! Develop essential skills, improve your professional and personal relationships, and have fun in a custom-built, outside-the-box program. My unique improvisation keynotes, retreats, and workshops are ideal for teams and individuals who want to increase their effectiveness in work and in life.
“I recommend Carrie as a facilitator for any company looking for a fun, creative way to bring even more life into leadership trainings.” —Jeanne Lyons, Google
Targeted to Develop the Skills That Matter Most
We live and work in a world of constant change. Improvisation skills will help you “get in the game” and play full out—even as the game changes! Most people think improv is a skill you’re born with or not. The truth is that you improvise every single day—whether or not you are aware of it—and the skills of improvisation can be learned and practiced.
Your work and life call for constant improvisation and on-the-spot communication:
“When I have a really great prospect, I get so tied up in the need to perform, impress, and secure the gig that I end up stuck in my head and not truly present or connected with the client.”
“My plans keep getting derailed. With all the curveballs that come my way, I can’t get anything off the ground. So I get discouraged and I just stay stuck.”
“Everyone in my organization has their own opinion, their own ideas, their own agenda. I want them to feel heard, but I have to make the tough decisions and take care of the bottom line.”
“Lately, my partner and I just can’t seem to communicate. We talk, but we don’t really hear each other.”
“Whenever I have to speak to a group, I dread it. The presentation part is okay, but the question-and-answer part is terrifying!”
“When something takes me off-guard I get scared and defensive. I can’t listen anymore. I feel like I have to fight for myself and my point of view. I’ve gotten feedback that I’m shutting people down, but I don’t know how to stop.”
“Our company keeps talking about empowerment and inclusion, but the truth is it feels scary to speak up in our culture. Some people always seem to dominate the conversation, and I end up just going along to get along. I keep my authentic self hidden and don’t feel like I can really be my best self at work.”
“I’m stuck in analysis paralysis. I just don’t know what the right decision is, so I get stuck in an endless loop of pros and cons.”
“I get so tongue-tied when I’m put on the spot in meetings. I don’t know what to say and I get so caught up in trying to look good that I sometimes even lose track of what we’re talking about!”
“Today my boss sprang a new project on me out of the blue and I felt totally unprepared! I’m on a tight deadline and this project is not in my area of expertise.”
“I got so excited about that opportunity—and then nothing came of it. What a waste of energy.”
“I know vulnerability is supposed to be super-important, but when it comes down to it, I can’t stand it. I want to be in control.”
Whether you and your team are seeking growth as communicators, leaders, service professionals, collaborators, creative developers…and the list goes on, improvisation is a highly effective way to develop the skills and competencies you need to thrive in a constantly evolving world.
Bring this powerful experience and knowledge into your organization! Schedule a workshop, training series, or keynote for your group.
In your custom-designed interactive and experiential program, participants will learn to:
- Become more agile, comfortable, and adept at thinking on their feet
- Create and perform in the moment
- Stay present
- Feel more confident
- Silence their inner critic
- Make decisions more easily
- Adapt to and manage change flexibly
- Access their innate creativity
- Share their strengths and ideas boldly, being their best selves
- Listen well
- Build trust, rapport, and safety with others
- Manage vulnerability
- Collaborate effectively
- Make better connections
- See possibility in all opportunities and “offers” from others
- Draw the best out of colleagues, rather than shutting them down
- Improve communication in relationships and teams
- Create a more inclusive culture
“Carrie’s experiential learning methods raised my awareness of tendencies that are getting in the way of my goals and satisfaction. This experience was immensely helpful and fun.” –James Tedford, organization consultant
Customized for You
Here are some examples of programs I can bring to your organization (available as a half day, full day, multi-day offsite or onsite retreat, keynote, and multi-month program):
Improvisation for Leaders
Improvisation for Executives
Improvisation for Coaches
Improvisation for Teams
Improvisation for Diversity and Inclusion
Improvisation for Entrepreneurs
Improvisation for Personal and Professional Success
“Carrie is amazing! Her lessons, timing, delivery, and application is spot on and applicable to all levels of supervision and management. Life lessons with meaningful use at all levels of your organization.” –Matthew Smolecki, AbD, MBA, CPP; Director of Learning, Development & Safety
In this highly experiential program, participants will instantly improve individual and group effectiveness while having fun and building group rapport and cohesion. We will move beyond the theoretical level to practically apply the concepts, skills, and learnings directly to your goals. Throughout this program, participants will take away increased self-awareness, enhanced skills, and new ideas and insights that they can immediately implement.
Applications may focus on:
*Innovation and Ideation
*Creating a More Inclusive Culture
*Agility in a VUCA World
“Exceeded my hopes and expectations…the team is still talking about it a year later, using it when something unexpected gets handed to them.” –hiring consultant for corporate retreat
Expertly Designed and Facilitated
Your customized program will be personally designed and led by me, Carrie Spaulding, a Professional Certified Coach, seasoned trainer, teacher, speaker, and facilitator, and professional improviser with 19 years of experience performing, teaching, and directing improvisation professionally.
Ready to plan a powerful program? Let’s chat. We’ll discuss the goals, challenges, and needs of your organization or team, and determine the perfect program for you.
“Loved the energy, loved the focus, loved the improv. You have to hear Carrie.” –Peter James, PhD, ACC, President, ICF-Chicago
Supports Diverse Groups and Fosters a Global Perspective
This program is universally accessible. Because this experience draws participants outside their own “box” to truly collaborate, your group will traverse differences to create something together that they literally could not create separately.
No one person or perspective can take over in a structured improvisation exercise. Participants will notice how they may be closing their minds or imposing their perspectives on others; conversely, they may notice how they are holding back and not “playing full out.” These discoveries will help them to engage more powerfully and sensitively on a global level, both inside your organization and with outside constituents.
This program calibrates participants to be more open to and aware of diverse perspectives and possibilities. It also helps participants to contribute their own ideas and strengths and show up more fully.
“I learned that if you “accept” people’s points of view even if you don’t agree with them, you can have a productive conversation/debate. If you don’t accept, then walls go up, and either nothing gets done or only one person’s point of view is heard.” —workshop participant
Not Just Another Boring, Ineffective, Unapplied Training
How would it feel to see your team growing in real time?
Your program will be highly experiential and interactive throughout, with every exercise purposefully selected and applied to your group’s goals (not just token “interaction for interaction’s sake” that you have probably seen in far too many trainings). Expect lots of mental, verbal, and physical engagement. (Design is sensitive to inclusion and accommodation of participants with physical disabilities.)
Our time together will allow your participants to develop their competencies in the moment, using an outside-the-box methodology that will help them access a deeper and more enduring understanding than they can get by passively listening to a speaker—even a good one!—droning on and on…and on.
How would it feel to see your team actually using what they learn long after the program is done?
The exercises in this program have an integrative effect—when we experience improvisational flow, our thoughts, emotions, somatic experiences, and intuition merge. Beyond insights on an intellectual or conceptual level, participants walk away with information that is “in their bones.” That means the learning sticks.
A couple of weeks after participating in a program, one participant reported that the experience he had in the workshop was “permanently programmed…It has been a constant reminder to help me self-manage and be cognizant of how I’m showing up.”
As an indication of the “staying power” of the learning outcomes, participants often find themselves making reference to this learning months and even years later. For example, a year after participating in a workshop, participants on a marketing team still made reference to a specific exercise to help them contextualize their work and engage with each other most effectively.
What if your people could really see themselves?
In engaging with this work, participants often discover “blind spots.” The design of the exercises illuminates blind spots and helps participants discover their own blocks in professional and personal development. These discoveries can be transformative, and people often gain awareness of aspects of themselves they hadn’t realized were there. They also walk away with knowledge and tools that they can use to address those blind spots.
What would it be like to see your team engaging better together?
Improvisation gives participants an experience of collaboration in its purest form, and as a result, “makes you more open to actually working with someone else instead of imposing your own agenda,” as one participant reflected.
This program builds tremendous rapport amongst participants and invites vulnerability and courageous self-reflection in a safe and structured environment, which leads to great discovery and growth. I’ve consistently received the feedback that I create a very safe atmosphere in which participants feel open to take risks and step outside their comfort zones to engage fully in the program. As a result, deeper connections are forged, more learning occurs, and organizations accomplish more.
How would it feel to see your team leave a day of training more energized than they came in?
This program may be one of the most fun and engaging experiences your team has shared. Expect joy, laughter, ideas and insights sparking, and a buzz of excitement and eagerness to use what was learned.
“What a refreshing experience to show up—tired!—and have a presenter say NOTHING at first but manage to absolutely quiet the room and rivet her audience! The entire session was mostly experiential, and extreme fun and learning through improv: our improvisation exercises were challenging, exciting, and oh so filled with learnings! Carrie was also masterful at debriefing each exercise in a dynamic, engaging, and controlled way which led to amazing ‘AHA’ moments, and a great sense of belonging and camaraderie. She drove home some essential points by leading [us] through powerful experiences. The room was brimming with excitement, and people left energized … and changed. Thank you Carrie!”–Pascale Brady, PCC
Hear from Past Participants
See what past participants have to say about improvisation programs with Carrie:
“After attending Carrie’s program Improvisation for Coaches, I knew she’d be a great fit as a facilitator at our 2 day offsite with my fellow Google Lead peers in Staffing. Carrie designed and facilitated a session that opened our perspectives about our work as leaders using improv skills such as being present in the moment, deep listening, and building on creative momentum through true collaboration. Her presentation was super engaging, but even more powerful was that I noticed people referencing and using the training the following week during one of our brainstorming sessions. We all left with more awareness and a different perspective on how the way we show up impacts others in the business. I recommend Carrie as a facilitator for any company looking for a fun, creative way to bring even more life into Leadership trainings.” —Jeanne Lyons, Google Staffing Manager
“Improvisation for Coaches” is one workshop I would never choose to attend. It’s not for me. I like to be in control and definitely don’t want to look foolish in front of others. No, I’m not an “improv” person. Yet, I had to attend Carrie Spaulding’s workshop. I’m our ICF chapter program chair this year. I organized the workshop. I have to introduce Carrie. And, she seems great – a PCC coach, very personable and engaging, high energy with a passion for what improvisation can do for coaches. She really believes that improv can improve communication and build trust for everyone.
So I showed up and in 90 minutes, improv changed my life. “Yes, and” gave me a new way to approach clients, family and friends. Carrie Spaulding is a gift. She puts you at ease, makes you feel safe to step out of your comfort zone and then asks you to trust the process and play. The exercises are simple yet powerful. I was amazed at how quickly the improv exercises helped my partners and I connect. We surprised ourselves. Within moments, we were trusting each other and really listening. Isn’t that what we hope for our clients? By the end of the workshop, I had decided that 90 minutes wasn’t enough time to practice my new improv skills. We need her back for a half day program. Yes, I’m now an improv believer and a Carrie Spaulding fan!” –Kelly Best, MBA, CPC
“She captured our attention right out the gate. The audience was on edge of their seats, not quite sure what was next. She spoke with clarity and focus. She demonstrated great respect for all her participants. She conducted several large group activities highly effectively, which would have seemed impossible. She had people laughing, learning, engaging, hugging, some on the verge of tears as they learned. Her teaching style and inclusiveness speckled with humor and moments of seriousness that made the experience totally engaging and elevating. You won’t find a better speaker on coaching issues than Carrie. She is truly a treasure!” –Cliff Walters, MD, MBA, ACC
“I thought yours was one of the best sessions during the conference. It was engaging and fun, and you definitely created a learning environment. From my perspective, learning occurred in 3 ways: when you were sharing improv concepts, when we were trying out the activities, and during the debriefs with the participants. It was such a great experience that I’ve recommended it for the next conference. Thank you!”
–Linda Miller, MCC
“Out of all of the sessions I attended, this one was personally inspiring for me! Carrie’s presentation was engaging, thought-provoking, educational, and fun. The exercises helped participants get out of their head, listen to others, and be present in the moment. The rapport developed between exercise partners after a few short minutes was amazing. I feel energized from this session and looking forward to putting these techniques into practice!”
–Amy Gamblin, ACC
“Despite the fact that the room was standing room only, Carrie managed to fully engage each participant. There was just the right combination of presentation and hands-on experience. We laughed a lot, and walked out feeling uplifted, feeling lighter, and certainly ready to try the exercises with our clients. The handout was also very useful – providing lots of detailed instructions on how to use improv when working with individuals and groups. Carrie is a talented performer, educator, and entertainer with lots of humility and compassion, and I would definitely recommend her for audiences of any size and level of experience with theater.” – Julia Karpeisky, PCC
“Coaching has a lot of improvisation! A coach must be fully present and act in THE moment. Surprising the client is crucial, and it means being able to act in a creative way. Carrie Spaulding made the participants aware about the value and the process/tools of improvisation. She showed us that improvisation is not abstract. It is an original response to the situation, the person and the context we are coaching. It will activate the client’s mind in a very positive way, enabling him/her to achieve new perspectives. Her joy, energy and capacity of communication is amazing, as she can really make us experience the power of improvisation, inspiring us to develop it and use it during our coaching sessions. Thank you, Carrie, for your knowledge and experience with this powerful tool. Your wonderful capacity to engage the audience and make us learn what improvisation is and how to use it has a huge value. I am grateful to you!”
–Ana Teresa Penim, PCC
“What an amazing session. The room was packed and everyone was riveted to her wonderful presentation. The interaction was so much fun. She had us all laughing and with the exercises, really thinking hard about how to incorporate these techniques into our coaching. Amazing and powerful!”
–Bryan Nadeau, ACC
“Carrie taught improv techniques to take us out of our comfort zones and build better interpersonal communication. The session was filled with laughter, and was one of the best leadership talks I have attended at a conference in a very long time. In fact, I think this session alone was worth the price I paid for admission to the conference! The amount of energy, enthusiasm, and just plain fun that Carrie brought to the group really left a lasting impression.” –Scott A. Moore, ACC, CAM
“This was so much fun. Every activity opened new awarenesses for me. I am excited to use what I learned today in my coaching—and with my family!” –Patty Blinderman, PCC
“Carrie Spaulding rocks! I attended her workshop at an international coaching conference, and her session was my favorite! She is a dynamic, well-spoken and authentic presenter who has an innate ability to connect with her audience. The content of her workshop was accessible, fun and immediately useful. I can easily see why organizations would benefit from the improvisation techniques Carrie shares, and I can’t think of a better resource for those tools than Carrie herself.” –Debby Stone, PCC
“She is an outstanding presenter and makes the daunting subject of improv both accessible and easy to practice for both professionals and novices. Her class is great for anyone who works with individuals 1:1 or leads a group of any size.” –Sara Rutstein, MBA, ACC, CPCC
“It was a great energy shift for me and the group. As a presenter, it was clear to me you are comfortable, relaxed and had complete knowledge of the topic. I can see the value of using it to create cooperation for employees. It was really ‘Fabulous’!” –coach
“I learned that if you “accept” people’s points of view even if you don’t agree with them, you can have a productive conversation/debate. If you don’t accept, then walls go up, and either nothing gets done or only one person’s point of view is heard.” –workshop participant
“I thought the content was awesome! Thank you for introducing me to a new concept and a new tool to put in my “tool belt”!! So prepared and so attentive to the class. Great front of the room presence! Engaging and enthusiastic about the subject matter! Left me wanting more!” – coach
“It was a really powerful experience for me. This exercise helped me let go of my ego. It means letting go of your own agenda and being in a truly cooperative space. It hijacks that cognitive planful part of your brain and you have to just play. It was freeing and calming. It puts you in your flow state in a way that’s hard to access. It’s amazing that there’s an exercise that can get you to that place. It’s crazy how quick the effect is. I found it transformative.” –one-on-one exercise participant