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

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Saturday and Sunday
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Oct 7—Oct 8
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 30
Unit: 1
Tuition: $440
Instructor(s): Debra Schifrin, Daniel Schifrin
Limit: 26
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Closed
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Saturday and Sunday
10:00 am—4:00 pm (PT)
Oct 7—Oct 8
2 days
Refund Date
Sep 30
1 Unit
Debra Schifrin, Daniel Schifrin
ACCESS 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 the course she co-created at Stanford Graduate School of Business, "Spontaneous Management," the school’s first and only 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 National Public Radio reporter and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Founder, StoryForward

Daniel Schifrin, through his consulting firm StoryForward, has worked with numerous teams across the corporate and organizational landscape to sharpen and amplify their message. In addition to teaching two Stanford Continuing Studies courses, “Think on Your Feet” and “Speakeasy: The Pleasure of Writing Good Dialogue,” he has taught at UC Berkeley’s School of Environmental Design and SF State’s Department of Creative Writing. Schifrin has also written for The Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle and is an award-winning fiction writer and playwright.

Textbooks for this course:

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