Back by popular demand, we presented on the power of improvisation at this year’s Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) conference. Here are highlights from our session that demonstrated ways improv can help you embrace fear, overcome stress and adapt to any situation.
Our SHSMD presentation “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” was delivered to a standing-room-only crowd two years ago, and this year’s encore presentation was equally popular. It highlighted several improv techniques designed to solve problems and supercharge creativity through strategies adopted by market leaders, including Google, PepsiCo and McKinsey.
Here are some of the advantages that improvisational concepts can deliver in advancing your marketing career.
Add value to your services.
The foundation of improvisational training—“Yes, and…”—is a way of thinking and responding to your fellow actors and sometimes your audience in the heat of the moment. When performing an improvisational scene, thespians are challenged to accept the reality of the moment with positivity and build on it to create dialogue and actions that will captivate the audience.
An improvisational actor must be present, listen carefully and think on his or her feet with confidence to successfully connect with the audience in a way that will attract attention and delight.
The “yes, and…” philosophy translates beautifully to the marketing space. With this type of thinking, you are are mentally prepared to positively respond to your clients, offer them additional ideas and add value to your working relationship with innovative solutions.
Source: “Why Improv Training Is Great Business Training” (Forbes)
Tell better stories.
Stories bring laughter and inspiration, carving out lasting space in our memories. In fact, according to Jennifer Aaker at Stanford University, research shows that stories are remembered up to 22 times better than facts alone.
When it comes to improvisation, too many facts (instead of reactions) can kill a scene. So remember: A scene is about people, and the most important thing in improvisation is the relationship the players have with each other on stage.
You can apply the same principles to healthcare marketing. A successful campaign has to connect with our hearts, not just our heads. Use stories to create emotional connections that make consumers care about your brand.
Source: “How Improvisation Can Make Us Better Marketers” (Convince & Convert)
Cultivate your leadership literacy.
When you are engaged in improv, you are called to constantly create new and innovative content. You must believe your own narrative to make it believable for others. Improv trains you to be flexible, develop social skills, accept failure as an opportunity to learn and to refuse to give up when circumstances seem challenging or unfavorable.
Source: “How Improv Comedy Can Make You a Better Leader” (Inc)
Develop your corporate culture.
Giving your healthcare marketing team the opportunity to do improvisational training together can help them be more open to and accepting of one another’s ideas. As a result, they will inspire confidence in each other and be motivated to maintain positive attitudes and behaviors that will please your internal clients and prospective patients.
Source: “How Improv Can Change Your Company’s Culture” (Edelman)
Promote key service lines.
When practicing improv, you are developing your abilities to be dynamic and intriguing. You are also polishing your prowess to communicate in a way that is clear and easy to understand. When combined with an improved ability to work together with your colleagues, you are set up to shine in your promotional game.
Being able to think on your feet in a productive manner is critical when you are trying to get others to believe in your facilities, ideas and service lines. So if you are shy or tied to routine, find the courage to break out of the box and spend a few evenings after work practicing improv with a colleague or two.
Let Us Help Tell Your Story
True North Custom works with 500+ healthcare organizations to tell their stories and promote service lines through integrated content strategies. Find out how we can help engage consumers and physicians in your area to drive brand and revenue growth.