3 improv skills for community managers

You’re not out to get big laughs, but spontaneous interaction is paramount to successful engagement with your audience.

Both require working with another person (or a group), often in the moment, to solve problems with uncontrollable factors, such as a given environment or shared and internal feelings.

Both can feel risky and scary; both benefit from the practice of essential skills to become very good.

Many improv classes teach three key guidelines that you can use—with some tweaking and practice—to become more effective in your company and your community.

1. Accept and build

The “yes, and…” method is something I learned first from one of Indy Hall‘s first members during a brainstorming session. The goal of using “yes, and…” is to be able to accept contributions from the group, even if they need to be enhanced or modified in order to create value after the brainstorm.

In a community manager context, using “yes, and…” is a powerful way to bring somebody into the community by not only accepting their contribution but immediately using it as the foundation for something new. It signals that you’re there to collaborate, not just to lead.

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