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COM 66 — Think on Your Feet: An Improviser’s Guide to Business and Communication

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturday and Sunday
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Jan 28—Jan 29
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 21
Unit: 1
Tuition: $420
Instructor(s): Debra Schifrin, Daniel Schifrin
Limit: 26
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Saturday and Sunday
10:00 am—4:00 pm (PT)
Jan 28—Jan 29
2 days
Refund Date
Jan 21
1 Unit
Debra Schifrin, Daniel Schifrin
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The skill of thinking on your feet is no longer optional in the workplace; it is mandatory. In this interactive, improvisation-based communication course, you will learn and practice skills for handling the unexpected with calm, grace, inclusiveness, and humor. You will increase your agility, grow your confidence in unpredictable situations, and learn critical new skills and mindsets. These include being more present and open to surprising ideas; cultivating a mindset of curiosity; and engaging with your audience with energy, commitment, and delight. Whether you are in front of an audience of one or 800, you will learn how to prevent missteps and imperfections from derailing you. The course will reveal the ways spontaneity and thinking on your feet can be joyful and how play and humor can be game-changers in creating an authentic and positive connection with your audience. The course will include a blend of interactive activities in pairs and small groups, targeted debriefs, group discussions, and mini-lectures. By taking time to practice these techniques in a supportive and encouraging environment, you will come out of this course a stronger and more intuitive communicator.

This course is not a theater-performance course; no theater or improv experience is necessary.

Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Founder, Debra Schifrin Consulting

Debra Schifrin teaches two courses she co-created at Stanford Graduate School of Business: "Creativity and the Business Ecosystem" and "Spontaneous Management," the school’s first improv-based management course. Through her consulting company, she leads innovative, interactive, improv-based corporate training sessions for business teams nationwide. Her focus areas include leadership, communications, collaboration, and storytelling. Schifrin is a former NPR reporter. She received an MBA from Harvard.

Writer; Storytelling Consultant

Daniel Schifrin's fiction and essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and McSweeney's, and he received the Wilner Award for Short Fiction. He has taught creative writing at UC Berkeley and SF State, and from 2008 to 2014 he was writer-in-residence at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.