Creative Facilitation

Using Improv, Storytelling, Visual Thinking and other Applied Creativity Practices


Be more at ease creating, improvising, and adapting in the moment.
 Enliven your facilitation with accessible, fun, purposeful activities.
Cultivate and trust your own juicy creativity.
Saturday, September 28, 2019   •  10:00am-5:00pm  •  Washington, DC

In this workshop, you will learn and experience a variety of Applied Improvisational Theater, Applied Storytelling, and other Applied Creative Thinking (visual, somatic, reflective) approaches that will enliven your programs, accelerate participant learning and deepen your presence, confidence, and flexibility as a facilitator. This workshop is for facilitators, trainers, OD practitioners, educators, coaches, team leaders, consultants, and anyone who wants to create dynamic, meaningful learning environments, feel comfortable with the unexpected, and think on your feet in real time.
"For facilitators looking for ways to enliven their techniques, this workshop is a winner." - Bill Olsen, President, Olsen Innovations, Certified Professional Facilitator

Improv, Movement, and Embodiment take us out of our habitual interactions, time frames, structures, and habitual ways of being and delivers us back into the "blank canvas" of the Now. As we learn to surrender to the moment, we let go of controls and the linear/rational-only mindsets that otherwise inhibit our inner creative wellspring. Storytelling brings connections, purpose, humor, relatability, and insights in ways lists and data do not...and gives meaningful context to facts and information. Visual Thinking generates more varied and novel ideas. Conscious Reflection opens up more options and choices. As we facilitate these approaches for our participants, they experience a deeper level of awareness and learning.

"The power of improv as a training tool resides in its experiential nature or the ability to connect people to their intuition, their bodies, their intellect and each other. The links to the bottom line become clearer and clearer” -Thiagi, forward in Training to Imagine

We will explore using a variety of creative approaches to:

Learn new skills, vocabulary and tools  •  Explore the applications of these new methods  •  Have fun  •  Deepen your understanding of your own creative process •  Stretch beyond "been there, done that" into exciting new territory  •  Let go and respond spontaneously

This workshop will focus on two levels at the same time - you as a professional facilitator and you as a creative individual. We will examine and experience the principles of creative engagement, creative and improv-based ways of being and mindsets, and practical applications of using improv, storytelling, and Applied Creativity practices to design and facilitate dynamic learning, connecting, and creating.

We will cover:

• Quickly and easily engaging participants in experiential activities
• Using improv, storytelling, and other creative practices
  in a coherent and organized way within your design
• Becoming more comfortable improvising as a facilitator
• Thinking on your feet, adapting in the moment and being present 
• Using foundational principles to transform blocks and barriers
  to group learning
• Choosing activities that are relevant to the objectives
• Drawing forth the energy, passion, and assets that are already
  in the room

Leave with improv, story, and other whole-brain activities for:

Icebreakers/Warm-ups  •  Energizers  •  Group activities  •  Individual/group storytelling  •  Creative thinking •  Team/community building & bonding  •  Moving through resistance  •  Breaking down interpersonal barriers  • Bringing out the creativity in others

Details: At the Center for Movement Theatre in Washington, DC (free and plentiful parking). Full day: 10:00am - 5:00pm. Spring water and light snacks are provided. We will have a lunch break. Other logistics and information will be emailed after registration. Or email info_at_creativeemergence.com with specific quesitons.
Registration:  $177

There are no refunds for cacellations after September 18. Unitl then, we offer refunds minus a $25 service fee. After that, you may apply your registration in full to another workshop or coaching session we offer.

To Sign Up:  Click the "Pay Now" button (below) for online credit card payment OR email info@creativeemergence.com for mailing information to send a check.


Creative Facilitation Workshop
Saturday, September 28, 2019
10am-5:00pm EDT

Questions? Call Michelle at 434-995-5077 or send an email to info@creativeemergence.com

Designed and facilitated by Michelle James, CEO of The Center for Creative Emergence. This workshop is based on discoveries and learnings from over two decades of studying, facilitating and designing Applied Creativity, Improvisation, and Storytelling workshops for individuals, teams and organizations including Microsoft, Panasonic, Dominos, John Deere, Kaiser Permanente, PBS, Deloitte, Geico, World Bank, Center for Nonprofit Advancement, NIH, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Search for Common Ground, NOAA, Clean Air Institute and many others. Michelle serves as adjunct faculty for the Federal Executive Institute, where she leads ongoing Improv for Leaders and Creative Thinking workshops for top agency leaders and policy makers. She also coaches entrepreneurs, consultants, and facilitators in using their creativity to design their original approaches, products, services, and activities (see bio).
From some of the June 2019 participants:
"I feel so fortunate to have spent my Saturday with an incredibly diverse and wisdom filled group. Your workshop was everything I had been anticipating and MORE! In only a few hours you unlocked in me something I had almost given up on. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us." ~ Audrey White, facilitator

"Thanks for a great, thought provoking day." ~ Brian Kalina, Strategic Planning Director, FCB Health
"Thanks for all of your great energy and positivity during Saturday's workshop. I learned a lot and had a blast! The workshop was an inflection point for me, emotionally, as it showed the way forward to a new purpose. I was also struck by its' (the workshop) usefulness across such a broad diversity of backgrounds and future uses. Great day!!" ~ Kate Coates, VP Client & Market Insights, USIS Marketing
This workshop is the latest in our Creative Facilitation Workshop Series, started in 2004.

What Participants Say
"Thank you for a great, informative and fun workshop, packed with creative ideas. Appreciate your engaging and active way to train. I learned many new ways to augment my client work  In fact, I'll be trying some techniques soon." > Susan Levin, President, Dialogue for Solutons
"Michelle was an exceptional workshop leader and inspirational guide as we explored creativity and applied playfulness. She created a safe container for us to discover deeper principles of creative and inventive play and provided a pathway which inspired my confidence to shine. I was impressed in her ability to guide us with the ease of a pro in adapting the day around our discoveries. This experience is a must for personal and professional development and pushing the boundaries of inventiveness." > Leanne Wild, Leadership and Performance Coach  
"Michelle was an exceptional workshop leader, making us all feel good, special and safe to jump into these creative exercises." > Sarah de Greef, Professional Faciliator
"I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop! I admired everyone's willingness to jump right in and try new things. I believe our lack of hesitation was attributable to the finesse with which Michelle created a safe environment for discovery, development, and fun. All of the exercises were appropriate to the group and will prove very useful in my own work. Michelle's facilitation skills are excellent and she genuinely shows up in service to the workshop participants. Throughout the day, Michelle teaches helpful skills, shares exercises, tailors the work to the the needs and desires of the group, fields questions and comments with ease." > John Countryman, Improviser and Professional Faciliatator
"Michelle has a delightful ability to coach, teach and transform her audience all in one workshop. From the first moment to the closing activity, we absorbed her teachings in a way that will improve and inspire our own facilitation abilities." > Linda Warren, CEO, Launch Consulting
"Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop! As an improv practitioner, I was familiar with the principles and some of the activities - and yet it was wonderful to discover new activities, or insightful ways of debriefing the ones I knew. I particularly liked how relevant and accessible all these activities were. Finally, I loved the way you created a safe space for sharing our stories - and enjoyed discovering all the fascinating stories of my teammates!" > Clotilde Mayer, Improviser and Professional Facilitator

"Michelle's workshop for facilitators is fun, effective and you'll be glad you did it." > Harrison Snow, Director, Team Building Associates, Professional Facilitator

"I constantly face three challenges: How to quickly engage people in my workshops? How to raise the level of engagement so participants are emotionally as well as intellectually committed? How to nurture cooperative learning, where participants rely on each other for their learning? I walked away with a facilitation arsenal and ideas on applying the principles of improv to my work - and with a smile on my face." > Allen Liff, Ronin Marketing

"Whether we work with conservative corporate clients with high anxiety thresholds about "retreats", or groups that are eager to move out into the unknown, Michelle offered great techniques and variations for all. I realized that activities to loosen up the mind are vital to the success of what one might regard as a cerebral exercise of a corporate planning session." > Judy Bradt, Principal & CEO, Summit Insight

"Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your workshop! It was really fun AND very instructive! It was a great class and I learned tons. I definitely got what I came for - so thank you." > Mary Abbajay, Consultant for Organizational Effectiveness

"It was a pleasure and lovely mix of energy in the room. Thank you for a wonderful learning experience." < Jo Golden, Service Design Lead at FJORD

"I've seen Michelle in action both as a performer and facilitator on several occasions. Her methods of facilitation are fun, effective and very energizing."  > Bill Olsen, Certified Professional Facilitator, President, Olsen Innovations Inc.

"Michelle’s workshops have opened me up to new dimensions of comfort in public speaking, thinking on my feet and dealing with conflict. Besides, they are fun! The experience is dynamic, experiential and adults learn best by doing." > Kathryn Burton, President, Burton Group

"Michelle creates a context in which the wonder and beauty of true co-creation among participants can emerge. Under her warm and spontaneous guidance humor, beauty, and truth come to the surface in a spirit of learning. I came away with new skills, friendships, and gratitude." > Kathleen Fimmell, Psychotherapist and Organizational Consultant

"Thank each of you for the gift you brought to today's session and shared with so much abundance and creative abandon. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and really learned a lot!" > Annalie Killian, Change Catalyst, Sparks & Honey