Illustration by John Kenzie
Illustration: John Kenzie

Fool your nerves

“When your brain says, ‘I’m nervous,’ say to yourself out loud, ‘I’m excited.’ It will be infinitely easier to make that first contact.”

Make it a game

“Go into a party with the goal of getting an interesting piece of information from three to five people. Try ‘Tell me about the most exciting thing you ever did as a teenager’ or ‘What’s the weirdest food your family eats on a regular basis?’ ”

Forget about yourself

“We think that people are judging us in a way that they absolutely are not. One of the things that improv does is it teaches you how to listen. Put your focus on making the other person have a good experience as opposed to worrying about what they think of you.”

Think small

“There’s a great improv phrase: ‘Bring a brick instead of a cathedral.’ I don’t have to bring a cathedral to the conversation. I don’t have to drive this conversation. I just have to offer something.”