Applied Improvisation – Communication Strategies for Scientists


Whether collaborating with teammates or discussing projects with your supervisor, communicating effectively is critical to your work at the NPS. However, we often get so caught up in the technical information we are trying to deliver that we lose sight of the people we are delivering our message to. Like any other skill, effective communication requires time and practice. And what better way to sharpen your skills than through a little improv?

Yes, improv.

Join professional actor Brian Palermo to discover how tried-and-true techniques from the field of improvisational theater can help you become a more effective and well-rounded communicator. The experiential nature of the exercises engages both the brain and body, amplifying the lessons learned and creating a fun and truly enjoyable educational experience.

You don’t have to be funny or a performer to benefit from this class. These exercises are “safe-to-fail” experiments. While the improvisational content you create is disposable, the communication, collaboration, and active listening skills you’ll improve upon are vital.

Here’s how Brian explains it.

Learning Objectives

In a small-group setting, learners will:

  • Discover how concepts from improvisational theater can improve professional communication skills
  • Practice and apply improvisational communication techniques


Target Audience

Natural and cultural resources professionals, and anyone looking to improve their communication skills.

Course Format

Four, 90-minute virtual sessions.

A few other notes on what you can expect from attending this communications class:

  • Learn some techniques for managing anxiety that may arise when communicating live.
  • Reinforce skills to collaborate with colleagues and teammates across other disciplines.
  • Discover lessons that go far beyond the workplace and apply to everyday human interactions.

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