When I agreed to observe Marty Jalove’s improv networking group at Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove I planned to simply sit apart from the group and quietly take notes. Boy, was I wrong. The group’s enthusiasm quickly swept me up into being a fully engaged participant.
Jalove is a business coach and owner of Master Happiness who stands out in a crowd in a trademark “What’s Your Bacon” shirt. So why improv marketing?
“Networking is a way to find meaningful and memorable connections for work or life,” Jalove said. Typically, we “chat about the weather, sports, or perform our elevator pitch to gracious nods from the other participants doing the same thing.” In short, it’s a hard thing to do for many people.
While doing improv, networkers “travel an emotional journey together, usually from apprehension to enlightenment or hesitation to hilarity.” He believes it is this shared experience that provides for deeper, more memorable connections.
Jalove, a Lake Zurich resident, studied improv for six years in a studio setting and performed onstage before a variety of audiences. At first, he was nervous, felt out-of-place and nearly quit. “I realized that my anxiety came from trying to impress others instead of helping others succeed,” Jalove said. “Once I grasped the ‘Yes, and’ principle I gained confidence and learned how to help others look good. I have been in Sales and Management Training for more than 30 years. Nothing outperforms the power of improv.”
Participants in his sessions can expect to improve their communication and collaboration skills. To be successful an improv group learns how to listen and enhance what others are doing and saying. “The team moves in synchronicity, working as one, and when that happens it is a beautiful thing,” Jalove said.
Improv Networking at Buffalo Creek Brewing is scheduled for July 11 and 25, August 8 and 22, and September 5 and 19. All sessions start at 7 pm. Learn more at MasterHappiness.com/improv.