Carnegie Mellon University

Improv-Based Communication:
Leading with Agility

Develop improv-based communication skills to lead with ingenuity, empathy, and resilience.

Today’s leaders are challenged by the speed and volatility of organizational change. Adaptability, creativity, and the ability to connect with diverse stakeholders are integral to meeting the demands of evolving corporate environments.  As industries continue to navigate unprecedented change, leaders must be able to break down silos, foster innovation, listen with empathy, and embrace the unexpected.

Being able to process on the fly, create space for others to contribute, and learn from failure is a key indicator of your ability to lead effectively. In short, today’s leaders must know how to improvise. By developing improv-based communication skills, you’ll be prepared to solve problems creatively, confront the unexpected with greater ease, present your best self, and inspire others to do the same.

During two days of interactive sessions, you’ll engage the fundamentals of social psychology, behavioral science, and improvisational theatre to become a more dynamic, nimble, and compelling leader. You’ll leave with tools you can immediately use to generate ideas, model inclusivity, and adapt to change. Working in small groups, you’ll participate in activities that encourage role-playing and risk-taking. And you’ll practice in a risk-free environment where you can gain actionable feedback. 

"My goal is to guide professionals at all stages of their career as they encounter the obstacles, complexities, and rewards of communicating in globally and technologically disparate climates. Witnessing my students use their...skills to become effective change agents and inspiring leaders is what drives me towards educational innovation." — Beth Walter, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor

Key Takeaways

  • Sharpen critical soft skills to become a more creative, flexible, and strategic leader.
  • Adopt an improvisational mindset to build self-awareness and strengthen your interpersonal toolkit.
  • Build teams that work as co-creative ensembles.
  • Leverage improvisational communication skills as a catalyst for positive change.

Who Should Attend

This highly interactive program is designed for leaders who want to expand their interpersonal skillset, develop their creativity, and enhance their ability to adapt, innovate, co-create, and manage risks. This program is ideal for business professionals who are taking on a new leadership role or who are facing increased demands to adapt to change.

Influenced by improvisational theater, business acumen and communication, our new program fine tunes your interpersonal skills, develops your personal leadership style, and enhances your ability to work collaboratively with teams. Learn how to react, adapt, and communicate!

* Special pricing is available for individual and group registrations. More information is available here.

Carnegie Mellon welcomes all individuals to participate in and attend Executive Education programs and events, on campus and/or online, as outlined in the university’s Statement of Assurance.

Additionally, we welcome the opportunity to accommodate requests for support for guests, visitors, and alumni with disabilities. To discuss your individual or group accommodation requests, please contact Carnegie Mellon's Office of Disability Resources at least two weeks in advance of your program start date.

Contact Executive Education at Carnegie Mellon

Contact a program director at 412-268-2304 or to learn more.

Get answers to common inquiries by visiting our frequently asked questions page.