By day, I am a marketing manager, and I truly enjoy what I do. Marketing has always been my passion, ever since high school. There is constant challenge in my work and a real sense of achievement when our efforts are successful. Still, it is difficult work, and so like many others I maintain a hobby as a way to relieve some stress.

As you may have inferred from the title of this article, by night I am a comedian. It feels odd to classify myself in that way; for so long I, considered myself just someone who was studying improvisational comedy. Yet, at this point, after performing weekly for over a year, I can say it with some confidence: I am a comedian, and I am a marketer.

Initially, those two titles appear to be entirely unrelated to one another. However, as discussed in an NPR article, there is a definite relation between the two. The basic principles of improv have proved useful not only in marketing but also in all other areas of my professional and personal life.

So, even if you are not willing to take up comedy as a side gig (it's not as hard as it sounds...), I want to impart upon you the following five lessons that will make you a better marketer, too.

1. 'Yes, And...'

This is the first concept that you are taught on the very first day of improv training. It is drilled into you until it becomes second nature. What does it mean?

Well, as improv actor and trainer Daena Giardella points out, too often in society (and business) do we hear the words, "Yes, but." I'm certainly guilty of saying that. In a business setting, as in a comedy scene, the phrase "Yes, but" acts as an idea blocker. In using it, you are acknowledging that the other person has something to contribute, but then negating the value of that contribution. Doing so does not fly in the improv arena (with some exception).

By adopting the "Yes, and" mentality, you force yourself to take into consideration what everyone is saying, and then building off of that to create something together, which is the basic objective of improv comedy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Bill Connolly

Bill Connolly is a marketing manager for Quaero and a performer at the Improv Asylum in Boston.

Twitter: @billconnolly