Improv Training Improves Executive Presence
Approximately 90 percent of GE’s top 600 leaders are promoted internally and the company invests around $1 billion every year in training. Twice a year, GuruMaker leads a workshop on communicating with executive presence during a two-week management training program at GE’s renowned leadership development facility in Crotonville, New York.
The course provides advanced leadership training for IT managers. GuruMaker focuses on teaching these future executives how to deliver convincing arguments that connect with the audience. The first part of the training takes an innovative approach that employs GuruMaker’s acting coaches working with participants on improvisational skills. This kind of training teaches individuals to think fast on their feet, how to work together by bouncing ideas back and forth, and to listen more actively. Participants also commented on how comfortable the team was with one another after the improv exercises.
The second part of the training features making a pitch, based on a case study, to a jury of senior GE managers. With a new understanding of and comfort with their speaking abilities, the IT managers gain valuable lessons they can apply back on the job. These include how to:
- Engage their audience
- Present their solution with authority, credibility and conviction
- Respond with confidence to tough questions from key stakeholders
According to Sarah Ley, former manager of the program at Crotonville, GuruMaker receives “stellar feedback from participants” for their coaching on executive presence and communication skills.