By Jeff Dunn
In the past year, I’ve run improvisation training courses for graduate students in technical fields–Act your Science. I partnered with the Artistic Director of the Loose Moose Theatre company in Calgary, one of Canada’s leading improvisation theatres. It is great training to help reduce stress during presentations, make presentations more personal and less scripted (thus more interesting to listen to), train you to focus (so you can react more naturally to unusual events (powerpoint failure, etc), and train you to recognize the status signals being sent from people in committee meetings, etc. I first saw the idea implemented by Alan Alda, but adapted it to our program. You can go to youtube to see Alan Alda talk about improvisation and science communication. You can also check out some weblinks of articles/blogs about the program here at the University of Calgary.
The University of Calgary’s news magazine (UToday) wrote an article about the program https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2017-09-01/science-grad-students-wing-it-and-learn-better-communication
A blog was written for the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada.
I wrote a blog as well.
Drop me a note if you want more information. dunnj at ucalgary.ca