Improv actors have to actively listen and respond. Marketers should learn from them.
Improvisation is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created in the moment. So how can the lessons of improv improve marketing?
After participating in the Forbes CMO Excursion with the Wharton Future of Advertising Program, it was easy to see that improv is much more than just tickling a funny bone. Improv instructors teach their students how to be confident, collaborative, emotionally in tune, natural content creators and great listeners. Sound familiar? They’re all also vital skills for successful marketers. The more they’re practiced and honed, the more marketers will be innovative and effective in their roles as brand stewards.
There are more than a few lessons that can be borrowed from improv but the top three that stood out are the same three crucial needs highlighted in most marketing discussions today: listening, experimentation and inspiration.
How often is it said that listening skills are vital to career success? But how often do we actively listen instead of just waiting for our turn to speak? So often we’re multi-tasking or “half-listening” during meetings and conversations that we not only miss much of what is said, but also (and more importantly) miss the opportunity to form a stronger connection to the person speaking.