You walk into the office on Monday morning, back from a professional development training. You make it a priority at least once a week to do something small to develop your talents and every 6 months or so to do something big. You just worked with Improv U to develop your confidence and presentation skills. You’re feeling confident. You give an engaging presentation to your team and even do one of the group exercises you learned during your session. This is one example of professional development for yourself. Let’s look at another example.  

You’re the owner of a company. You have multiple departments, but everyone knows each other. They don’t work together and they don’t get together outside of business hours, but there’s an understanding in the air. A comradery. This is because every quarter you bring in Improv U to do a teambuilding session with everyone. The departments are all mixed in together so everyone gets a chance to work with each other on communication, listening, and teamwork. They sharpen these skills through games and activities and group discussion. 

Professional development with provides improvements to your interpersonal skills, presentation ability, even selling ability in an approachable and fun way.

What is Professional Development?

Professional development is simply continued education and career training after you’ve entered the workforce. It helps you develop new skills, be aware of changing trends, and move up in your career.

Many fields require it. Sometimes to keep your job or to maintain a license, certification, or special designation. In those cases, there are likely specific requirements which need to be completed through an approved provider.

Many professionals who strive to excel in their careers voluntarily seek out other learning opportunities. These can come from any instructor who has a skill you want to learn such as being a better presenter or being comfortable speaking to others in a sales environment.

Professional Development Activities

The activity or game teaches the lesson. This is the philosophy behind everything we do. You can’t read or listen to someone else speak about how to do something and be expected to do it. Especially with the professional development skills and goals you’re trying to achieve with us.

We start with warm up or ice breaker activities as a big group, usually in a circle. These are designed to get everyone moving and raise their volume and their energy. 

A fun exercise we like to do as a warm up is to clap around the circle. It’s a simple game where you turn to the person next to you and try to clap at the same time. It can be hard to do at first, but it gets easier when you set your partner up for success. It’s a great lesson on how we can set each other up for either success or failure. 

All games are side coached. This means you get subtle direction from your facilitator as you play each game. Side coaching is meant to guide and encourage you. 

After a few of these we move to two-person exercises where you pair up with a partner. Again the games are fun, and the lesson is apparent as you participate. 

An example of a two-person activity is a game called 3,2,1. Two people go back and forth sharing 3 numbers. This means each person will say each number. Slowly we replace a number with a sound and action. This forces you and your partner to share in each other’s choices. We call this non-verbal agreement.