The Buzz


Professional Clients

Greg taught a class of corporate, government, and nonprofit librarians to step outside our comfort zones and think fast on our feet. He created a safe place for practicing new behaviors from “being in the moment” to “giving it the gas!” All participants rated the class high for learning new skills as well as having a fun experience.
Mary Schwartz, MLS

Senior Librarian, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.

The evaluations from staff attending were ever so positive. On our scale of 1 (it was terrible) to 5 (the best thing since sliced bread), Greg’s session had a fabulous overall ranking of 4.7. That’s the best score ever for any of our presenters. Here are a few comments from the staff attending:

  • I really liked this format. Sitting and listening to speakers is so tiring and not nearly as effective.
  • …(A) lot of fun and a wonderful way to actually experience what happens in the workplace and how to respond.
  • The improv workshop was the best thing we’ve ever done.
Molly Rodgers

Director of Human Resources, Manpower, Inc., Raleigh, N.C.

(T)hank you for the facilitation of our team building… As we began our sessions with you, I couldn’t see how improv could relate to the work environment, or how it could help me. Frankly, it seemed a little silly. Now, I’m constantly aware of status (mine and others’) and of recognizing offers. I’m also much more likely to let people know how I feel and to not wait for the perfect moment to act. Thanks for something that will stay with me and be of great value to me.
Surprised, amazed, enlightened, delighted…

Hoyt Wagner

Southern Company Services, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

Greg and his talented group from Transactors Improv successfully delivered on a challenging task: to bring to life the values of the Burt’s Bees corporate culture through a series of interactive, experiential sessions. The technique was brilliant–informative, entertaining, and effective–they hit the nail on the head on a really tough assignment. Their creativity and expertise played a major part in the success of the event!

Grace Taylor

Taylor Made Events, Chapel Hill, N.C.

…(T)he workshop was valuable in team building. It brings things out in people what otherwise would not be revealed. Knowing more about the people you work with definitely helps to build a team effort if you are willing to use what you have learned… (M)onths after the workshop our employees were talking about the experience and thanking me for bringing the program in.
The following are comments that I received from the team leaders that report to me when I asked, “Let’s discuss the Improv Leadership Program. What did we learn?”

  • To take risks
  • Every job is important to the team project
  • Don’t worry about what other people think
  • Good opportunity to get to know the team in a relaxed environment
  • Helped people be more confident in speaking their opinions
  • Nobody’s perfect
  • Don’t try to be like everyone else, you are individually useful
  • Learn to relax a little bit, deal with it when it comes up, be spontaneous

I definitely recommend the workshop, especially if a company is trying to break out of the same old pattern of leadership training.

Steve Sanders

CFO, Dayton Heart Hospital, Dayton, Oh.

It was a wonderful class and you were a wonderful teacher. This class has given me very useful tools…

Ha Ngo

GGA Architects, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Your…course provided our staff with a new perspective and refreshing skills for delivering more convincing and heartfelt presentations and briefings. The comments from the participants showed they learned the value… Thank you for your fresh perspective, enthusiasm, and love for your work.

Mary Ann Warner

OAQPS Training Team, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Greg Hohn is a creative, capable teacher.

Dave Hart

Attorney, Raleigh, N.C.

I found new freedom of expression in this course… Great energy, structure, enthusiasm.

Martha Sorensen

Therapist, Durham, N.C.

People in public health are very committed to their work but are often stuck in a scientific way of thinking. Despite their best intentions, they find it hard to let themselves be creative and enjoy their own intuition and imagination. We appreciate your help in getting them out of the box!

Donna Dinkin

Coordinator, Southeastern Public Health Leadership Institute, Chapel Hill, N.C.

(FIZ) encouraged my employees—all stellar individual contributors—to confront what was keeping them from working together well as a team. What we learned was that when we place too great of a value on our own contribution, we fail to see the relevancy of our personal contribution to the overall team goal. Greg’s class also opened our eyes to the importance of making sure that we each expressed ourselves so that our intent is understood by the other team members. We saw that a team member cannot step in and “help” us— whether it be to add to a comedy sketch or assist with an eleventh-hour project from the CMO—unless we clearly expressed what our need for help was.

deLille Anthony

Manager, Market Intelligence, Southern Company Services, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

…(T)his improv thing has been incredibly beneficial to me… My imagination is much livelier.

David Fellerath

Writer, Durham, N.C.

Your expertise as a teacher and your talents as a performer were amply demonstrated… I particularly liked the course evaluation comments from the student who gave the “class participation and involvement” a 6 (on a scale of 5 being “excellent”). You can’t beat, “I LOVED IT!! GREG WAS A WONDERFUL PERSON TO LEARN FROM.”

Sara Maultsby

Director, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, N.C.

Excellent training in spontaneity and thinking on your feet.

Michael Jones

Engineer, Durham, N.C.

Excellent training in spontaneity and thinking on your feet… (It helped) me to be more… creative in my communication.

Michael Morrow

Building contractor, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Greg is enthusiastic and talented when it comes to entertaining and more than that—he educates.

Megan Evans-White

Executive Director, Davie County Arts Council, Mocksville, N.C.

It was perfect last night. Everyone said it was one of the best meetings we’ve had… Thanks for sharing your expertise with us.

Ruth Hamilton

Director, Carolina Health & Humor Association, Durham, N.C.

Thank you for providing two workshops for the 12th Annual NIEHS Career Fair. We have received numerous positive comments and feedback from participants.

Eva McLanahan, Ph.D.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Academic Clients

Greg is an excellent instructor and it’s benefiting the students very much… (T)he class was oversubscribed… (former Dean, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School)

Jim Dean

President, University of New Hampshire

We were thrilled with the success of Greg’s improv session at our organization’s recent retreat. It really woke our group up on a Saturday morning and got them ready to work hard. The session was both fun and rewarding–perfect for our needs. The participants gained valuable insight into how we work together as teams and organizations, and many of the insights they gained influenced our later discussions. I highly recommend Greg for any organization looking for a fun way of building group cohesion and interaction

Daniel Griffin

President, Duke University Graduate and Professional Student Council, Durham, N.C.

Thanks so much for the improv training sessions…fantastic! … Your workshops are always a hit!

Joseph Holmes

Adjunct Professor, Duke University Masters of Engineering Management program, Durham, N.C.

Thanks so much for the improv training sessions…fantastic! … Your workshops are always a hit!

Barbara Jo Foley

Continuing Education Director, UNC School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Individual Students

I can’t tell you how many times a day I use techniques I learned during improv. I took a job working in legal unit administration for (a county department of social services) and almost every day is something new with almost a million things going wrong for somebody. If I had not taken your class I would have probably gone crazy by now.

Thank you so much for teaching me how to go with the flow, make something out of what appears to be nothing, and to not freak out when things don’t go according to plan–or worse, when there is no plan and no one to give me instructions. The lessons learned in your class are invaluable and I wanted to let you know that I appreciate everything you taught me.

Erica Bluford, MBA

I wanted to let you know just how you’ve served your country. Yes, Greg Hohn’s Applied Improv lessons have reached the US Army through yours truly… (W)ithout your instruction and lessons my soldiers and I would not be able to provide the quality training we have been told we are providing… You make a difference.

2Lt John Barone

US Army, Corps of Engineers

Very often, we hear people arguing about something and at the end they say: “we are talking about the same thing.” If these people’s conversation can start with the “yes and” mentality, perhaps the argument will be avoided at the first place. With “yes and” mentality, I imagine that the conversation will emphasize on the common grounds of the two parties’ opinions. At the end, the difference will naturally come out and both parties are happy to accept the difference.

Shuntai Wang

Greg’s class is obviously about improvisational theater, but it has applicability beyond even the business presentations and interviews that the syllabus promises to illuminate. This class should probably be cross-listed for Philosophy because its lessons about character interaction in improv, when abstracted from the context of theater, are really about human interaction and apply equally well to theater, business, dating, parenting, scholarship, sports, and just about everything else in life. Concepts from this class can be applied from the boiler room to the situation room to maximize individual and group performance.

Robert Shaw

I have been able to make comments or ask questions during class because I throw away my hesitance as well as awkwardness thanks to your class and advice. I really appreciate having had your class and would definitely recommend (it).

Kaori Shiraishi

This type of cutting edge, “outside the box” class will continue to advance Kenan-Flagler among the nation’s business school elite. Greg’s unique approach proved successful in stimulating and developing new communication skills sets for many of us.

Dave Ryan

There are several take-outs of the course. First of all, I learned how to laugh of myself and not feel embarrassed about everything I do. The second and the most important to me was to learn that I cannot control everything that is going on around in my life, and if I have to deal with ambiguity that is OK. Third, I learned that not all the people look at us and see what we think they see. We have an impression of ourselves and believe that all the people have the same impression. However, every person looks at us in a different way and that is also OK. Finally, I learned to push my limits further, try to be more creative and relaxed about small risks that do not mean failures.

Juan Taiana

A lot of what allows me to overcome a lot of difficult situations nowadays comes from having attended your classes. It wasn’t so much the activities or methods, but the very basic mindset that what’s the worst that can happen to you if you screw up. A lot of us put of lot of pressure on ourselves, thinking people are trying to fault us with every mistake that we make, but more often than not, mistakes are very easily forgotten, and forgiven, more so by others than by ourselves. I like this change; I’ve been not afraid to say things that I would hesitate previously, and find myself talking to people more easily than I thought possible. My attitude towards work, people, and relationships have since changed, and it’s definitely for the better. For example, I’ve become more a more patient person, and am a better listener.

Melvin Koo

One recurring theme in the class was the importance of taking risks, letting go of the inhibition and the fear of doing something wrong or stupid in the eyes of our peers. I was pleased to see the progress of some of my classmates that I know can be exceptionally shy or reserved.

Claudia Guthrie

This entire class has been about us learning to be more spontaneous, confident in our abilities—yet non-judgmental of them—to “go with the flow” sometimes, and to be aware of what we are doing and how others might perceive our actions-no matter how subtle those actions might be.

James Oliver

The relationships that have been built as a result of this class are invaluable and will remain far beyond the days that I can recite the Black-Scholes formula.

Mark Flynn

Accolades and Media Attention

Named one of the top 50 undergrad business professors in the country by Poets and Quants in 2022, Greg has also been a “Teaching All Star” at Kenan Flagler Business School every year since 2004. The award is based on student evaluations (scores over 4.5 on a 5-point scale).

At Duke University, Greg’s student evaluation rankings are regularly in the top five percent among undergraduate instructors. In his first year teaching at the school, Greg was one of only 52 professors from the entire university nominated for the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Greg is the author of Putting Improv to Work: Spontaneous Performance for Professional and Personal Life and was a contributor to The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook by Roger Schwarz.

For professional achievement and community service, Greg received a Village Pride Award from WCHL radio in Chapel Hill.

Greg and FIZ have been featured in:
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