Izzy Gesell, Improv Theater Skills, Humor in the Workplace

Izzy Gesell, Humour, Stress, Change


Speaker:          Izzy Gesell,         

Topic Title:              

  1. Improv Theater Skills, Humor in the Workplace, Living a More Effective, Spontaneous, and Confident Life through Improv Theater Skills
  2. How & Why Jewish Humor Works: The Gift Of LaughterProfessional Fees subject to change without notice
  • $$ = between $10,000 – $15,000
  • Expenses:    As incurred                
  • Travels from:        USA – Massachusetts
  • Expenses for Travel, (air and ground) Accommodations, Meals, Traveling Companion, and Incidentals are not included in the above fees.
  • Discounted Fees:  Under rare and special circumstances speakers may discount their fees at their discretion. i.e., booking multiple events with the same client.  Non profit organizations may also qualify for a discount



Izzy Gesell is an organizational alchemist who helps individuals and organizations transform their thinking from commonplace to extraordinary. Through his keynotes, trainings, coaching and facilitated sessions, Izzy offers imaginative, intuitive and immediately useful insights and programs. He is skilled at delivering meaningful material in a way that makes participants enjoy their time with him.

Izzy was one of the first to use Improv Theater concepts as tools for personal and organizational learning. He is the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater, a co-author of Cancer & the Healing Power of Play, a co-author of Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter.

His has authored 3 video courses on Linkedin Learning (formerly Lynda.com),“Essentials of Team Building”, “Humor in the Workplace”, & “Leading with Applied Improv.”

Recognized by his peers, he has earned a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association. Less than 15% of NSA’s 4,000 members are CSPs

A former stand –up comedian and public school teacher, Izzy was raised in Brooklyn NY where commonplace thinking was frowned upon. He has earned a BA in Psychology, an MS in Education and a P…. that’s 1/3 of a PhD and now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.



Enhanced Leadership, Teamwork and Communication
Through Applied Improv Skills

We all need to be nimble, confident and creative these days in order to personally thrive while inspiring others. Interestingly, the same is true of Improv Theater performers. In fact, the skills that make improvisers so successful are the same ones that make non-performers successful.

Improvisation theater games are deceptively powerful tools for enhancing our leadership, teaming and communication skills. The games invite participants to enter and embrace the unknown, relate to others without assumption or judgment, exist in a state of absolute and unconditional acceptance of what is offered, relish process as much as focusing on outcome and enjoy and value working with others.

In this entertaining, informative and immediately applicable program we’ll go behind the curtain and into the mind of improvisers and leave with ways to be more confident, spontaneous, and balanced people.


Managing Stress & Change through Humor

The world we live and work in, once thought of as habitual and logical, is now erratic and unpredictable. As “thriving on chaos” becomes the norm, people and the organizations they operate in, must find new ways of making sense of their situations.
This program examines practical ways and means of maintaining physical and emotional fitness through humor, one of our most under-utilized personal resources. Laughter and happiness are important factors in the attempt to achieve and maintain a healthy personal and professional life. Humor boosts morale, facilitates communication, stimulates creativity and helps manage stress. Participants learn how humor works and how to bring it into their lives on a daily basis.

The Elephant in the Room is Laughing

A Facilitator Looks at Humor’s Impact on Organizational & Group Process

The outcome of a board meeting, group get-together, brainstorming session, leadership summit or information event depends on many things, not the least of which is the flow of participant energy. We know that participants in groups or departments are often experiencing one of two energy flow states; they are either being energized or they are being drained of their energy. The state these participants find themselves in effectively impacts the environment for the whole group or organization.

Humor is a language that people use to join and identify a common universe. They consciously and unconsciously make statements through humor about themselves, their relationships, their groups, and their fears, which they find difficult to say otherwise

Humor, or the lack thereof, functions like a thermostat, controlling the climate within an environment. It is a key component of the atmosphere that surrounds all who interact with each other within any setting. In organizations & meetings, which consist of sets of human relationships, humor is one way the dynamics of the group are illuminated. Simply put, positive humor fosters a warm and inviting feeling. Negative, divisive humor makes a place and its people seem cold, cruel or aloof. Absence of humor altogether indicates a systemic blockage of communication.

This program aims to examine practical ways and means of understanding & using humor personally and professionally and how to channel the energy of humor toward more productivity, cohesion and creativity.

Participants will be able to:

1. Distinguish between the 4 functions of humor- shield, weapon, bridge, spotlight
2. Discuss how humor impacts mental, physical, emotional, spiritual perception
3. Apply personal sense of humor to varied groups
4. Explain how humor functions as a stress manager
5. Describe a tactic to recall & retell any joke or humorous story

The Importance of Humor for Cancer Survivors. Friends, Family & Caregivers

A cancer diagnosis affects more than the disease’s host. Friends, family and caregivers are all included in the new world disorder. When humorist and motivational speaker Izzy Gesell was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 he was forced to take his own advice about the spirit-strengthening power of humor.

In this hilarious, heartwarming and hope-filled program, Izzy shares how he found humor in his experiences while showing how humor works so anyone can bring more joy and happiness into their lives, no matter what the situation.


Transforming Negative Self Talk into Productive Thinking

Self Talk is the “ongoing dialogue we have with ourselves that determines our view of the world.” Our behavior, therefore, is not in response to WHAT happens to us. Rather, it is in response to what we BELIEVE is happening. That’s why two people can be sitting next to each other experiencing a turbulent plane ride and one fears the plane will crash and the other is enjoying a roller coaster ride.

By learning to tune in to what we say to ourselves, (both consciously and unconsciously) we enhance our power to navigate our internal logjams in order to emerge more confident, spontaneous and effective. This entertaining, informative and practical session will help you understand how self-talk works, how you can change negative self talk to positive and how you can better understand other people’s drives and intentions.

Participants will;

1. Be able to redirect their self-talk in a more confident, positive and effective direction
2. Understand the connection of stress to self-talk
3. Know how to determine what they can control in a situation.

The DNA of StoryTelling: How and Why Stories Impact Us the Way They do

What is a story? At its core, a story is about conflict between expectation and reality, imbalance and opposing forces. Sort of like a meeting or team or organization! That’s why there is always a problem to be solved in a story. Leaders, business people, education professionals & storytellers all use story to address these opposing forces in our groups.

Experience the power of a variety of ways to tell a story with more than just words. Turn over a new page in your learning to find the passion and purpose that lives inside our stories that can help us better serve our clients, colleagues, and organizations. Leave with new activities and new insights into how to incorporate these stories in your personal and professional life.

1. To describe and understand a variety of story-telling structures and formats
2. To explain how story-telling helps groups navigate their way around process obstacles
3. To share stories with others
4. To discover ways in which story-telling can help you better serve the needs of your clients, colleagues, and organizations


A Practical Workshop on Developing Creativity Techniques For Real Life Applications

Everyone is creative yet many feel inadequate when it comes to describing their creative ability. Creativity is more than the ability to be artistic. It is a way of looking at, and relating to, the world. The practical orientation of this “how-to” workshop uses real life situations and structured exercises as springboards for the brainstorming and development of creative solutions and approaches to the stumbling blocks, stumpers and screw-ups we all surely encounter.
Participants will experience a multi-modal approach and will experiment with written, oral, visual and physical exercises in creativity. Treating problems, as games, reframing matters to allow them to be seen from different perspectives, and using metaphors are some of the skills to be gained.


After a keynote address, a half-day seminar or a full-day workshop, Izzy’s audiences leave with a smile on their lips, a good feeling in their hearts, some great jokes to tell their friends, and a clear understanding of how to bring humor into their lives on a daily basis.

Sample of Past Clients Include:

Texas Dental Association
General Electric
Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
Emergency Nurses Association
American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Participant Feedback

“You are awesome! Your presentation at ASAE was my favorite. You not only made me think, you did it with humor.”
–L.S., National Ground Water Association

“I enjoyed your presentation so much. I especially appreciated the atmosphere you created – the comfort level and respect – and the way you de-constructed the ‘why’ and ‘how’ we feel.”
– N.C., OK Dept of Transportation
Hire Izzy for Your Next Speaking Event!