Empowerment Activity – Improv Night

Topic/Theme: Communication Skills

Video #1: Developing Communication Skills

Video #2: What Is Improvisation (Karen Hirst Career Girls Role Model)

Video Discussion:

Talk to students about the main forms of verbal communication, speaking and listening. Share with students that verbal communication can be informal (conversation) or formal (speeches, debates). Ask students to take turns telling about times that they may have given or listened to a speech.

Video Viewing #1:

After watching the first video Developing Communication Skills, ask your students the following questions:

  • What did the role model mean when she said that communication is a two-way channel? Talk about some situations where it’s equally important for you to be a good listener as well as a good speaker.
  • Why is it important to speak in a low, confident voice rather than in a loud, rapid voice?
  • How do you think professional leaders prepare themselves to speak in front of a group of people? What can you learn from these speakers about improving your own communication skills?

Video Viewing #2:

After watching the second video What Is Improvisation, ask your students the following questions:

  • What is the foundation of improvisation? (Answer: Always say “yes and…“ then add to the sentence.)
  • Why is listening crucial in improvisation?

Activity Instructions:

Set up an audience and have students pair up with a partner. In the classic improv set up, have the audience shout out a location, a profession or a character and a situation. For example an animal clinic, a veterinarian, and a person bringing in their unusual pet. Whatever you choose, it’ll be silly, educational and sure to get the creative juices flowing. You can come up with your own opening line or start with one from the list below.

1. Excuse me, ma’am. I need to return this shirt for a refund.
2. Miss, I am afraid I did not order a hot dog for dinner.
3. Did you honestly think that a trail of breadcrumbs would help us find our way out of the forest and back to our house?
4. So, Jordan, please explain why Paul’s homework was in your backpack.
5. Officer, please, no! Don’t give me a speeding ticket!
6. Do you think Mother would like this crown or the silver one?
7. Oh! It is such an honor to meet you! Could I get your autograph for my daughter?
8. I understand you were an eyewitness to the skateboard theft. Please tell our viewers what you saw.
9. I think our cheer needs a better jump and some words that rhyme with “team”.
10. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome today’s guest—Pat Perkins—an expert on how to organize your desk!
11. Look, my muscles are killing me! Can’t we take a break from this workout?
12. Just rip the paper off! I can’t wait for you to see this totally unique gift!
13. Excuse me, ma’am. Is that dinosaur skeleton real or is it just a model?
14. Well, this is what we’ve been training for—the Olympics! Are you ready to earn that gold medal?
15. I think these shoes make my feet look far too big. Please get me a different pair.
16. Uh! All the other parents let their kids see PG-13 movies! You’ve just got to let me go!
17. All you have to do is step-kick-step-kick-step-kick. Now try it with me.
18. Behind us is the U.S. Capitol and over there, you’ll see the Washington Monument.
19. It’s just a little tattoo on my arm! Dad has one! I don’t see why you are so upset!
20. Mr. Higgins, please tell our viewers how you plan to spend your lottery winnings!


*Thanks to https://www.thoughtco.com/improv-opening-lines-2712854 for the opening line suggestions.

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