Peter Margaritis, Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Business – InnovaBuzz 309

Peter Margaritis

Peter Margaritis, Improv Is No Joke

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Peter Margaritis, Author of Taking the Numb Out of Numbers & Improv Is No Joke. During his time as a corporate CPA, Peter took Improv classes and today, he shows how to use the tools he learned in Improv – like listening, flexibility and trust, to change how a team interacts with each other and their clients.  As a result, your team will learn new methods to improve their communication and build stronger relationships with your clients, customers, stakeholders and associates.

In our discussion, Peter and I talked about:

  • Listening fully and being fully present
  • Making your presentation about your audience and hearing things in their voice
  • How to improvise the scene you are in, not the one you’d like to be in

Dr Gleb Tsipursky in episode 271 introduced us to Peter.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Improvisation is a communication tool that you can use to better grow your business. @PMargaritis on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

Show Notes from this episode with Peter Margaritis, author of Improv Is No Joke

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Improvisation is a communication tool that you can use to better grow your business.
  • Improv starts with the words “YES – AND”.
  • There are certain situations where saying NO is proper, especially if it is something that is across our ethical boundaries or it is just not the right time.
  • Realy listening to someone’s thoughts and opinions makes them feel empowered.
  • You show appreciation just by listening.
  • If you want to generate ideas, you have to put your judgement aside. 
  • There’s a place for convergent thinking versus divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is key to “YES – AND” and to really growing your business.
  • Saying “NO – BECAUSE” stops ideas and conversations.
  • You learn when you fail. You learn when you make mistakes. You learn from those mistakes how to do it differently.
  • Create an atmosphere that is founded on respect, trust, and support.
  • Listening, being focused, and being present are the super powers of improvisation. 
  • There’s a difference between listening to respond and listening to understand. Listening to understand means putting your agenda and your ego aside and just listening to everything that a person is trying to say. It’s empathizing, suspending judgement, and just really learning about what the other person is thinking about. It’s being present and not being distracted.
  • There’s a difference between jokes and humour. 
  • Humour is the way that you communicate with your audience in a style that you’re not being overly serious.
  • It’s not about YOU. It is about your audience. As a presenter, it is your responsibility to engage them so that they can take the information you are sharing and apply it. It is your responsibility to be more focused on them than on yourself.
  • Listen to your audience’s words and not to what you think they are saying. Look for keywords and key phrases that they are using, and build your marketing plan around that.
  • Putting your ego aside to think about others and not just yourself goes a long way in growing your business.
  • An improviser is extremely adaptable.
  • Improvise the scene that you are in not the one you want to be in.
  • Every day brings something new. An improviser doesn’t get attached to yesterday when today is changing. Don’t focus on what’s not working right now or what’s not true right now. Focus on what’s true right now and how you can have a positive effect on what you are trying to do. 
  • Improv is more than just being funny. It is a way of life. It is a leadership tool.
  • Time is a gift.
  • Keep your eyes open to what can put you out of business.
  • Adapt, focus, and stay present. Focus on the things you can control and don’t pay attention to those that you do not have control over.
  • The collective knowledge outside your office far exceeds the collective knowledge inside of your office. If you have a problem to solve in your business, ask people outside of your office how to solve it.
Improvise the scene that you are in not the one you want to be in. @pMargaritis on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Peter’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Follow your fear. Lean into it. Bad ideas are bridges to good ideas. 
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Bounce them off conversations with friends. Keep exploring.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – The internet, spreadsheet of articles, books, and YouTube videos
  4. Keep project/client on track – Daily communication. Being available when they need you the most. Have empathy for them and build up that level of respect and trust that you have for each other.
  5. Differentiate – Don’t be like everybody else. Be creative. Be vulnerable. Follow your fear and just go with what you believe is right. Accept failure.

To Be a Leader

Improvise the scene that you are in, not the one you want to be in. Focus on the things that you have control over and make the best out of each day.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Peter through his website, and email.

Suggested Guest

Peter suggested I interview Jay Sukow, President and Creative Director of Today Improv. So Jay, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Peter Margaritis.



Cool Things About Peter

  • He’s an “Accidental Accountant”.
  • He has been both a stand-up comic and an accounting professor.
  • He started a restaurant business at age 12.
Every day brings something new. An improviser doesn't get attached to yesterday when today is changing. @PMargaritis on #InnovaBuzz podcast Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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