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News & Updates


  • Virtual Presentations: It has never been more important for businesses to engage their employees with highly skilled speakers who can educate & inspire teams wherever they are. Many can effectively present remotely with keynotes & webinars. More on virtual presentations.

  • Navigating the Digital Revolution: Artificial intelligence, platform scaling, machine learning, augmented reality: Some of our expert speakers on navigating this change include: Lital Marom, Andrew Au, Jim Carroll & Richard Worzel.

  • Coping with Covid-19: We have some excellent educational speakers on resliency & reassurance in uncertain times. Most can effectively present remotely via live streaming & through services such as Zoom. More on resliency speakers.

  • Navigating the Digital Revolution: Artificial intelligence, platform scaling, machine learning, augmented reality: Some of our expert speakers on navigating this change include: Lital Marom, Andrew Au, Jim Carroll & Richard Worzel.

Smartleese Creative

Improv Emissaries, Creative Connectors & Communication Experts

Bio

From on-the-spot improvisational inspiration to custom entertainment creations for business events, Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese of SmartLeese Creative have delivered hundreds of live shows, keynote presentations, training sessions and corporate entertainment productions. As a duo, Lindsay and Lee draw upon their know-how as improvisers and comedic performers to deliver fun, engaging and interactive sessions which use improvisational techniques to develop communication, collaboration, adaptability, innovation and storytelling skills vital to succeeding in the business world.

Both are alumni of The Second City, the renowned improvisation and sketch comedy theatre, and each have had extensive individual careers. You may recognize their faces from stage, television, film and commercials. Professional acting credits can be viewed by searching their names on the on the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB).

SmartLeese Creative has provided their speaking, training and creative services to hundreds of corporations, businesses and event planners across Canada for over twenty years.

Topics & Categories
  • Change | Change Mgmt.
  • Communication
  • Creativity | Innovation | Disruption
  • Employee Engagement
  • Event Hosts & M.C.\'s
  • Human Resources & Workplace Culture
  • Humour & Variety
  • Leadership
  • Morale Boosting
  • Motivational
  • Team-Work & Collaboration
  • Trainers
  • Virtual Presentations

VIRTUAL:

Improv FUNdamentals for Virtual Teamwork +

As human beings, we’re social creatures and spend most of our lives surrounded by other people. These days, working remotely can leave us feeling disconnected and disengaged.

Expert improvisers Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese of SmartLeese Creative are experienced facilitators and seasoned keynote speakers who have been igniting enthusiasm and strengthening teams for years.

Taking their interactive sessions online for a fun shared real-time experience, Lindsay and Lee co-lead virtual sessions that preserve and promote positive social connection. By focusing on the principles that improvisers use to build trust and rapport, respond to verbal and non-verbal cues, get ideas across and collaborate, this session shares techniques to combat the limitations of video communication that undermine human connection and healthy cooperative working relationships.

This engaging session brings groups together via Zoom for a series of lively improvisation-based activities which introduce the fundamental tools improvisers use to communicate, collaborate and generate greater interpersonal understanding.

Participants experience the core principles of improvisation through spontaneous demonstrations by Lindsay and Lee, followed by conversational exercises in full group or breakouts with smaller groups, and debrief discussions on the corresponding practical applications.

Beyond being an energizing teambuilding event, this dynamic learning environment and engaging social experience, encourages participants to foster real connections within dispersed teams and discover positive ways of interacting that they can bring back to the office.

This engaging virtual presentation via Zoom can bring together up to 48 people. It runs 90-minutes, including 2 instructors & a 10-minute Zoom orientation. --

KEYNOTES:

The Improvisational Mindset for Business +

Worldwide organizations and business schools are recognizing that the skills distinguishing successful business people are the very same skills that are used by professional improvisers. Improvisation is an undeniably effective technique with wide-ranging business and social applications. The Improv advantage provides a competitive edge in a world that is both unpredictable and depends on the strength of relationships.

Learn to unleash your innate improvisational abilities. Think on your feet. Collaborate and contribute. Enhance rapport-building skills. Tap into creativity on demand. Take risks and develop resilience. Adapt quickly to change and disruption. Turn adversity into advantage.

Differentiate yourself with the Improv mindset. Have some serious fun.

Participants actively engage in improvisation-based experiential exercises followed by focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and gain confidence. Sessions include entertaining Improv demonstrations and audience participation. 60 – 90 minute sessions are tailored to support client objectives and draw from the topics below.

Intro to The Improv Mindset

  • Learn the method, philosophy and application of the guiding principle of improvisation: “Yes And”

Communication and Rapport Building

  • Understanding behaviours that help and hinder rapport
  • Giving and receiving information effectively
  • Practicing active and empathic listening
  • Recognizing unconscious bias
  • Valuing diverse perspectives

Collaboration and the Collective Approach

  • Fostering trust and mutual support
  • Moving from individual to shared success
  • Promoting equal and full participation
  • Cultivating consensus
  • Cooperatively influencing business strategy

Creativity and Innovation

  • Applying the improvisational process for idea generation and exploration
  • Moving beyond your comfort zone
  • Exploring the benefits of spontaneity and reserving judgement
  • Connecting disparate ideas to make innovative discoveries
  • Recognizing the value of ‘failure’ within the creative process

Adaptability

  • Embracing the unexpected
  • Becoming more agile and adaptable
  • Building resilience
  • Developing tolerance for ambiguity
  • Increasing the capacity to shift perspective

Leadership and Engagement Strategies

  • Fostering a culture of support, appreciation and recognition
  • Discovering the advantage of both giving and taking control
  • Promoting engagement, ownership and contribution
  • Addressing negativity and overcoming resistance
  • Cultivating personal presence and building courage

Presentation Skills and Storytelling

  • Delivering authentic and relevant presentations with credibility, confidence and passion
  • Reading and responding to your audience
  • Practicing positive body language and non-verbal communication
  • Transforming data into stories
  • Engaging your audience --

Building Client Centric Relationships with The Improv Advantage +

As institutions strive to differentiate themselves from their competitors, they’re recognizing that the key to winning is the ability to develop successful client centric relationships.

So, how can improvisational skills help your people develop trusted, long-term relationships with clients and colleagues?

Here’s how. The skills improvisers use to connect, collaborate and contribute onstage, are the very same ones needed by business professionals to cultivate strong client centric relationships. Both require the ability to build rapport, share ideas, adapt quickly to change and innovate to remain relevant.

Professional improvisers and corporate trainers Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese of SmartLeese Creative believe improvisation and business go hand in hand. Improvisation is much more than the ability to ‘think on one’s feet.’ It’s a powerful methodology for communicating, collaborating and creating with practical business applications.

For the past two decades, SmartLeese Creative has been invited by organizations from a wide range of business sectors to share their fun, engaging and undeniably effective improvisation-based presentations all over North America.

Their lively, interactive 60-minute session entertains with live improv demonstrations and educates by taking audiences ‘behind the scenes’ to learn and experience first-hand how the methods of improvisation strengthen client centric relationships.

There’s lots of laughter, animated exchanges and relevant insights throughout the presentation. Participants gain a common language, a fresh perspective and an immediately applicable process that enables them to focus on their client’s needs and by doing so, fulfill their own. That’s the Improv Advantage. --

The ‘Improv Quotient’ for Leaders +

It’s been said that a leader’s task is to get work done through other people. That approach can result in people feeling as though they are functionaries versus willing participants, running the risk of turning a team into disengaged automatons. It doesn’t matter how technically competent or how strategic the thinking is, if you’re leading and no one is following, then you’re just taking a walk.

There’s a better way. As ‘improvisation emissaries’, Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese (SmartLeese Creative) believe that a leader’s job is to create a culture that inspires others to successfully work together toward a shared goal. When managers model what they’d like to see in their team, they establish a connection that’s founded more on mutual respect and less on authority.

Improvisation is a vital combination of social and survival skills. Improv concepts and philosophies help leaders become aware of behaviours that help or hinder their ability to lead effectively.

With fun, interactive sessions, SmartLeese introduces improvisational methods and skills that provide an immediately usable process for participants to build rapport, collaborate, adapt to change, innovate, and be resilient.

The more developed a leader’s ‘Improv Quotient’, the more effective they are at moving their people in desired directions, creating a culture of contribution and bringing out the very best in their teams. --

WORKSHOPS:

The Improvisational Mindset for Business +

Worldwide organizations and business schools are recognizing that the skills distinguishing successful business people are the very same skills that are used by professional improvisers. Improvisation is an undeniably effective technique with wide-ranging business and social applications. The Improv advantage provides a competitive edge in a world that is both unpredictable and depends on the strength of relationships.

Learn to unleash your innate improvisational abilities. Think on your feet. Collaborate and contribute. Enhance rapport-building skills. Tap into creativity on demand. Take risks and develop resilience. Adapt quickly to change and disruption. Turn adversity into advantage.

Differentiate yourself with the Improv mindset. Have some serious fun.

Participants actively engage in improvisation-based experiential exercises followed by focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and gain confidence. Sessions include entertaining Improv demonstrations and audience participation. 60 – 90 minute sessions are tailored to support client objectives and draw from the topics below.

Intro to The Improv Mindset

  • Learn the method, philosophy and application of the guiding principle of improvisation: “Yes And”

Communication and Rapport Building

  • Understanding behaviours that help and hinder rapport
  • Giving and receiving information effectively
  • Practicing active and empathic listening
  • Recognizing unconscious bias
  • Valuing diverse perspectives

Collaboration and the Collective Approach

  • Fostering trust and mutual support
  • Moving from individual to shared success
  • Promoting equal and full participation
  • Cultivating consensus
  • Cooperatively influencing business strategy

Creativity and Innovation

  • Applying the improvisational process for idea generation and exploration
  • Moving beyond your comfort zone
  • Exploring the benefits of spontaneity and reserving judgement
  • Connecting disparate ideas to make innovative discoveries
  • Recognizing the value of ‘failure’ within the creative process

Adaptability

  • Embracing the unexpected
  • Becoming more agile and adaptable
  • Building resilience
  • Developing tolerance for ambiguity
  • Increasing the capacity to shift perspective

Leadership and Engagement Strategies

  • Fostering a culture of support, appreciation and recognition
  • Discovering the advantage of both giving and taking control
  • Promoting engagement, ownership and contribution
  • Addressing negativity and overcoming resistance
  • Cultivating personal presence and building courage

Presentation Skills and Storytelling

  • Delivering authentic and relevant presentations with credibility, confidence and passion
  • Reading and responding to your audience
  • Practicing positive body language and non-verbal communication
  • Transforming data into stories
  • Engaging your audience --

Improv Idea Lab +

Target Audiences: Business Teams in Need of Fresh Ideas and Innovative Approaches

“If you want creative workers, give them time to play.” –John Cleese

Improv Idea Lab opens your team’s brains and attitudes with fun improvisational methods. The correlation between play and creativity has been proven, and Idea Lab creates the atmosphere and provides the tools to cook up fresh ideas – lots of them.

This workshop combines lively interactive improvisational methods with the goal of generating ideas which meet specific and relevant business objectives. Improv Idea Lab is designed to create a culture of innovation and transform the idea generation process.

Fun exercises foster dialogue, collaboration, and a functional sense of play. Participants are encouraged to suspend judgment and tap into their intuition. Spontaneous activities ignite creativity, trigger discoveries, and delight.

Improv Idea Lab provides an effective and enduring method to increase the quality and quantity of ideas. Your team will produce viable ideas, kick-starting practical applications and moving your team in a positive new direction. --

"On Your Feet" Presentation Skills Workshop +

Target Audiences: Executives, Managers, Public Relations, Marketing and Sales Professionals

“On Your Feet” is an engaging and constructive presentation skills workshop. Participants improve their ‘performance’ by experiencing fun, active presentation exercises, improvisational techniques and stagecraft tips designed to maximize a presenter’s confidence and style.

Individuals receive honest and supportive feedback to identify and build on performance strengths and minimize drawbacks. The “On Your Feet” workshop provides lasting, easy-to-apply skills and a safe, enjoyable opportunity to grow and develop as a communicator. --

Train the Trainer Program - Coaching the Foundations of Presentation Success +

Target Audiences: Managers, Trainers, Human Resource Professionals

This customized training program prepares managers and internal trainers to share presentation performance skills with their team by learning to understand and experience the elements of a winning presentation, recognize presentation pitfalls, provide techniques to achieve a desired outcome, and develop their ability to give constructive feedback.

Specific areas in need of training are identified, and training is customized to meet specific needs and goals. --

Hosting & Emceeing +

As Improvisers/Creative Services they have a variety of offerings including:

  • Customized Improv Shows
  • Improvised Interactions such as surprise comedic characters/audience plants/gags
  • Spontaneous "red carpet" audience interviews
  • Faux comedic keynote speakers
  • Custom written & delivered comedic messaging (stand alone or paired with a keynote or workshop)
  • Co-hosted custom talk shows
  • Acting & writing - live/video --

Smartleese Creative are represented by K&M Productions. For more information, fees, date availability & booking Smartleese Creative contact us.

What Clients are Saying

WOW what a great day! Hats off to Lindsay and Lee for putting on such an exceptional afternoon. I have spent time talking with most of the team tonight and I speak for everyone when I say how much we enjoyed this session. Some of the things that stuck out from today are:

  • Keeping us always active and participating
  • Keeping a positive energy flow
  • Drawing in all the participants
  • And most of all, I just loved how you would take to time after each exercise to stress the value and how we could draw that back to our everyday work lives.

Well done, and thank you!! It was a real pleasure to attend your session!!

–IBM Global Business Services

[More..]

WOW what a great day! Hats off to Lindsay and Lee for putting on such an exceptional afternoon. I have spent time talking with most of the team tonight and I speak for everyone when I say how much we enjoyed this session. Some of the things that stuck out from today are:

  • Keeping us always active and participating
  • Keeping a positive energy flow
  • Drawing in all the participants
  • And most of all, I just loved how you would take to time after each exercise to stress the value and how we could draw that back to our everyday work lives.

Well done, and thank you!! It was a real pleasure to attend your session!!

–IBM Global Business Services

Thank you so much for your fantastic contribution to our GCG conference. The feedback has all been positive with regards to your sessions, and many people walked away equipped with some great new skills which they were really happy about! It was a pleasure to work with you both throughout; your positive and upbeat natures certainly are contagious! I also really appreciated your ‘can do’ attitudes, it was really a lovely treat to work with such nice people.

–Deutsche Bank

SmartLeese Creative was an amazing partner for our event. With an emphasis on partner!

Our event had a very complex set of objectives to deliver and required a customized approach to do so; all within the confines of a one day meeting structure.  Not only did SmartLeese do what was needed to deliver on these objectives in spades, they did so by becoming invested in the success of our event.

They made a point to truly listen and comprehend our vision for our event, identified areas for improvement, prepared comprehensive documents to detail and ensure every aspect of the day, raised relevant and important questions, appropriately highlighted areas we had not considered, and were always ready to roll up their sleeves to brainstorm potential solutions to surprise situations and challenges along the way.

They have a genuineness that is reassuring and coupled with a great sense of humour, makes them very easy to work with. Our event would not have been as successful as it was without them, and this was proven through the resounding positive feedback received by our audience and stakeholders.

Thank you Lindsay and Lee!

–Hoffmann-La Roche

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