Kurt Bodden delivering for Speechless.

As part of our effort to promote community & build appreciation for the quality and diversity of the various improv training centers in the Bay Area, we want to highlight some of the goings on.

We kick off this series with Speechless’ Sammy Wegent, EmCEO & Co-Founder (Am I the only one with title envy over here?). Speechless will be performing as part of SFIF on Friday, Sept 18, 7pm, get tickets here.

What exactly is Speechless?

Speechless is a hybrid of improv, stand up, storytelling, and PowerPoint presentation so our training merges techniques from all of those areas in order to develop strong solo performers. Since our show is done solo, that is one of the ways our training differentiates itself. We use improvisational concepts and apply them to solo performance instead of ensemble performance.

How long has Speechless been around?

We’ve been around for about 2 years as a show & offering training to corporations. The majority of our work has focused on corporate training. However, Speechless will launch our training center, offering the first open to the public classes, on July 28, with three 4-week levels including Speechless 101, 201, and 301. More specialty classes and intensives will follow later this year.

What are you most proud of about the work Speechless is doing right now?

That Speechless is expanding its shows and training around the world and is making its mark as an interactive comedy show that anyone can do, anywhere. And we’re especially proud to be associated with the incredible people and innovative companies we train every day in the Bay Area and beyond.

What is special about your teachers?

Sammy Wegent & Kimberly MacLean will teach the first ever session of Speechless 101. Both are staples in the stand-up & improv communities and have both been teaching in the field for years – and they recently took a trip to Chicago to meet with schools there and learn from their experiences. Anthony Veneziale, our Executive Director of Corporate Training, heads up several training programs at Google and other companies that focus on using improv to give better presentations.

What does the future hold?

The launching of our first session of Speechless 101 on 7.28.15 along with our entire training center this summer and fall. Speechless is opening up shows in Los Angeles and Portland later this fall as well as in international cities such as Stockholm, Dublin, and Melbourne.

How can people read or learn more about Speechless?

About the Author: Kimberly MacLean, is a producer for SFIF and the recently appointed writer of blog posts – she works with Speechless and other training organizations, including BATS Improv – we believe this adds strength in her ability to champion and represent fairly & equally the variety of training the Bay Area has to offer.