Why stand-up comedy is good for your business

How one PR firm changed its culture through comedy and improv. Now, it offers comedy training to clients.

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This month, Peppercom, a New York-based strategic communications firm, announced it was offering a new training program called “The Comedy Experience with Clayton Fletcher,” which ties stand-up and improv skills to business.

“When you kind of dissect it, comedy skills are very similar to what you need in terms of business skills,” says Deb Brown, partner and managing director of strategic development for Peppercom.

The aim of the program isn’t to turn everybody in the office into a Carrot Top or a Larry the Cable Guy, she says. It’s meant to build supportive environments where people can be open and honest with each other.

Over the past few years, Peppercom’s culture has changed substantially as comedy skills have become a larger part of the company. The firm aims to bring that change to its clients.

Standing the stand

About six years ago, Steve Cody, one of Peppercom’s founders and a managing partner, started taking stand-up classes for fun. He worked with Fletcher, a touring stand-up comedian, to build his chops.

“As he started doing more and more stand-up, he started to recognize that, although he was very good at client meetings and presentations, he was getting a lot better,” says Brown.

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