Playing Along: Improv Deck

Improv Games for communication, listening and creativy

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Playing Along Improv Deck contains 22 adaptable group learning activities, borrowed from improvisational theatre. These exercises foster group understanding, reduce resistance, create cohesiveness, and promote active participation in the learning process.

Each card has all the information you need to facilitate the activity effectively. On the front, you'll find the ideal number of players, plus general information about set-up and instructions. On the back of each card, find additional tips on how to conduct the exercise.


  • 22 Improv-based activities
  • Ideal number of players for each activity
  • Clear, concise notes for set-up and instructions
  • Read-aloud intros for facilitators to share with players
  • Tips on drawing out and learning from "Instruction Moments"(IMs)


Use improvisational exercises no matter what topic you teach:

  • Communication and listening
  • Risk taking and acceptance
  • Relationship-development and trust-building
  • Team Building -- encourage acceptance and mutual dependence


Improv isn't only for entertaining evenings of comedy. Trainers and facilitators have long used improvisational theater games and exercises to develop corporate and educational work groups. Improv games and experiences can:

  • Create "ah-ha" moments as players observe how their improv reflects how they respond in real-life situations
  • Spark emotions, laughter and dialogue
  • Help people learn from self discovery, rather than emotion
  • Promote creative thinking and problem-solving
  • Improve self-esteem


The goal of improv is to react quickly and not think too much; to listen well and collaborate with teammates. Because nothing is scripted, and few rules apply, anything can happen. Feel free to start and stop exercises, call out learning moments, and welcome fellow players to step in and help. Get ready for a bunch of flops and plenty of laughs. To ensure success, share these guiding principles with your improv groups:

  1. Don't try to be perfect
  2. Stay present and focused
  3. Say "Yes, and..." rather than "Yes, but..."
  4. Accept any offer
  5. Embrace silence
  6. Use the environment for ideas
  7. Proceed even if you're unsure
  8. Rely on body movement
  9. Communicate with body language, as well as words
  10. Make your partner look good
  11. Try something else, if your first attempt doesn't work
  12. Listen without judgement
  13. Don't say "sorry"
  14. Break the rules
  15. Stay safe




Playing Along: Improv Deck

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