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The Second City

The Second City

Business moves fast. Improvise!

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Fee Range: Contact Us for Quote

Business moves fast. Improvise!

*Fee ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact your Speaker Exchange Agency representative.

The Second City has been performing sketch comedy in front of audiences for nearly 50 years, making it the standard by which comedy and improv in America is judged. So much talent has come from the ranks of the company’s many theaters over the years, it reads like a who’s who of contemporary American comedy. Some of their most well-known alumni are John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert to name a few.

Second City Communications works with corporate groups to create a fun, interactive and unconventional approach to training and entertainment. Working with groups as small as 4 and as large as 18000, they have worked with the employees of over 400 Fortune 1000 companies.

The Second City style is one of elegant simplicity—six actors, a few chairs, and some of the most inventive comedy in the nation. The ensemble creates a slice-of-life environment, lampooning aspects of our modern lives—political, social, and cultural. It compares to Saturday Night Live—only better.

Second City will even work with you to create original sketches for your show – to be used once and only at YOUR event – drawing on details provided by you about what makes your organization, event, or industry unique!

A Second City Session Customized for your group

A Second City session is highly engaging and experiential. Participants quickly jump into a series of paired and full-group exercises that encourage them to interact and learn from the experience. After each exercise, facilitators take time to discuss what happened and note discoveries, challenges and real-world applications. Participants are encouraged to share specific stories – moments of success and failures – to bring the concepts to life. The sessions are tailored to your objectives and are organized to build upon each other to increase the challenge.

We will work with you to create an interactive learning experience that will focus on skill building in areas specific to your needs and objectives. These foundational topics serve as thought starters in the design of your session.


Leading for Innovation and Change

At Second City Works, we take a unique, improv-based approach to developing more creative, inclusive, and inspiring leaders. Participants will build their skills and receive feedback in a variety of areas, including:

Using Yes, And

  • The Language of Collaboration
  • Adapting in the Moment
  • Breaking down Silos
  • Rapid Idea Generation

Collaborative Communication

Arguably the most direct applications of our methods are in the areas of Teambuilding and Creativity. We will unpack concepts such as:

  • “Yes, And” to Build Collaboratively
  • Listening to Understand
  • Managing the Message
  • Having Each Others’ Back
  • Business Etiquette
  • Team building and goal re-orientation

Innovation and Creative Thinking

  • Brainstorming through improvisation to generate and filter new ideas
  • Breaking done “no” thinking to let “Yes, and” flourish giving each idea its day
  • Collaborating to produce more creative thinking
  • Build team dynamics that make failure a valuable component of the innovative process.


Our written and stage work has made us experts in the fine art of telling stories, as well as improvisation. Especially effective with sales teams, our Storytelling programming provides tangible tools to make sure your audience is paying attention.

  • Identify the Hero
  • Start in the Middle
  • Find the Transformation
  • Cultivate the Details, Then Cut the Clutter

Presentation Skills

  • Voice, gestures, pacing, eye contact
  • Building confidence as a presenter
  • Reading the audience and adjusting message and delivery
  • Using emotion and passion to persuade and connect
  • Adjusting to form factor (phone, in person, etc.)
  • Speaking with passion & selling ideas

Diversity and Inclusion

We believe Inclusion is a skill that can be practiced and improved in organizations. We take the same skills that create successful improvisers and leverage them to build more inclusive behaviors.

  • Being Other’s Focused
  • Resisting Labels and Assumptions
  • Creating Dialogues, Not Monologues
  • Moving Forward

Harassment and Bullying

  • Participating in an inclusive environment
  • Being aware of personal/professional boundaries
  • Reporting: How to have a conversation about a difficult topic (instead of a difficult conversation)
  • Verbal Harassment vs. respectful communication
  • Making assumptions or leveraging stereotypes

Some of our best actors come together for the 30-minute improvisation show, where they take suggestions from your audience to create an original set that is entirely unique and new. Because suggestions come from the audience, this show tends to form around concepts relevant to your business.

Best of The Second City

This 50-minute revue is similar to the custom show, but only incorporates the best material from our nearly 50-years of theatrical history. The revue includes hilarious sketches and improvisation based off of your audience’s suggestions.

Funny Business: Live Customized Comedy

Our most popular offering, custom shows are clean, one act revues (approx. 50-60 minutes) prepared and customized specifically for your company. A third of the show is made up of original scenes crafted by our writers and based on the day-to-day life of your company and business. Additionally, the revue includes equal parts “best of” Second City sketches and improvisation — all carefully chosen to fit your audience.

Improv-Based Live Learning

Workshops – These workshops teach the fundamentals of improvisation – the same skills our actors use on stage – and show you how it can be applied to business. Workshops include a combination of tried and true improv exercises, role plays and tailored discussions done in pairs and small groups. They are highly interactive and experiential, where participants learn by doing and are on their feet moving around. We work with the client to create an agenda compiled of improv exercises that fits their needs and objectives. Common learning topics include active listening, thinking on your feet, building rapport, collaboration and trust, building on one another’s ideas, presentation skills and storytelling skills.

-Half-day (1-3 hrs.) or Full-Day (4-6 hrs.)
-Groups of between 1-50 people ( 35 is ideal for half day, 25 for a full day)
-Cast of two
-Lead time 4 weeks


Workshop Content Briefing

Client will provide the Second City Works team with information regarding its overall objectives for the workshop, including any key areas of focus/development. Additionally, client will provide further information on the workshop participants and any specific goals it has for these individuals.

Creative Kickoff Call

This call will provide the client with the opportunity to meet the workshop’s designer/lead facilitator, and will serve as an opportunity for the two parties to discuss in greater detail the briefing content, and objectives for the workshop. Upon completion of this call, the workshop’s designer/lead facilitator will begin to design the workshop.

Workshop Design Review Call

On this call, the workshop’s designer/lead facilitator will walk the Client through the running order of improv-based exercises he/she has selected for the workshop, underscoring the key learning points of each, and how they ladder up to the overall objectives for the workshop. Final logistical questions for the day of the workshop will also be addressed at this time.

Interactive Keynote – A keynote is a great alternative to the workshops offering when the audience size greater than 100. Like the workshop, these sessions provide the audience with a crash course in the fundamentals of improvisation as tools for learning and development. The main difference, the active participation of pairs and small group exercises is done with the attendees in their seats. Areas of focus can include: Collaboration, Creativity & Innovation, Leadership, Customer Service, Sales Effectiveness, Agility and Adapting to Change, Communicating in a Diverse Environment, or custom built on any topic.

-Combination of small group exercises, sketches & improv scenes and facilitated discussion.
-60 minutes is typical, but we can customize to the learning agenda after consultation with you and the client

More Details


To bring the meeting content to life, keep the audience engaged and build a thematic through-line throughout the program, SCW will write custom scenes or “sketches” to be performed in general sessions. Our writers work with you to identify what’s ‘true’ about your company, your industry, or your audience, and turn that into a series of funny, smart
sketches that can be used to set up a speaker, support key messages, add levity and energy throughout the meeting.

• 3 custom written sketches 3-5 minutes each
• Cast of 6 (4 actors, 1 musical director & 1 stage manager)
• Writer

Second City has pioneered a training methodology that is interactive, fun, and embraced by Corporate America and Ivy League B-schools. These skill-building workshops are fun AND deliver results.

The workshops translate the fundamentals of improvisation as essential tools for professional development. The active participation of pairs and small group exercises lead to a relevant discussion about how these tools apply to the day-to-day business environment. Areas of focus can include: Collaborative Communication, Creativity & Innovation,
Leadership Development, Customer Service, Sales Effectiveness, Agility and Adapting to Change, Diversity and Inclusion, or custom built on any topic.

• Up to 3 hours for up to 50 people
• Custom Design
• (2) Facilitators (travel additional)

A Second City Works Keynote workshop is a main stage version of our breakout workshops for large groups. Exercises and interaction happens with the attendees in their seats. A Second City Works Keynote is a refreshing and welcome change from a traditional Keynote speaker.

• 60-90 minutes
• Session design
• 2 Facilitators (travel additional)

We provide an experienced host to welcome your audience, warm the crowd, introduce
speakers, and keep things moving in a fun way with engaging energy bumps throughout the

Just like Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel, we write a custom show with you, and our host will tee-up talking points based on relevant questions with a little fun added to the mix. The talk show format works well to support speaker presentations, support a panel discussion, announce new products, or internal process changes. The goal with these talk shows is to showcase your people, make knowledge exchange more conversational and engaging, helping your presenters better connect with the audience.

• Cast of 6 (1 host, 3 actors, 1 musical director, 1 stage manager)
• 3 Custom written sketches 3-5 minutes each
• Custom Talk Show or Game show typically between 45-90 minutes in length

We hand-select our best actors for a short-form improvisation show, taking live audience
suggestions to create an entirely original set in the moment using concepts most relevant to
your business. Our actors make sure all suggestions are safe and corporate appropriate.

• Cast of 6 (4 actors, 1 musical director & 1 stage manager)
• 30-45 minutes in length

We pull our best material from our nearly 55-years of theatrical history archives, including
sketches and improvisation based off of your audience and event theme. Pulling relevant
scenes will make the audience feel as if the show was written just for them but without the
custom pricing.

• Cast of 7 (5 actors, 1 musical director & 1 stage manager)
• 50 minutes in length

This option includes ⅓ of each: improv, “best of” material and custom-written
sketches. We’ll write 3 brand new scenes and embed them within the show. The client
works with a director and 2 writers, and has approvals over all custom material – this
process is about 3 or 4 phone calls.

• Custom Written scenes
• Cast of 7 (5 actors, 1 musical director & 1 stage manager)
• 60 minutes in length

Virtual programs available

Change Readiness

Collaborative Teams

Leadership at Every Level

From a recent client
“Our only regret is that we didn’t have them on the agenda Thursday to shake up our corporate VP’s speaking. They brought great energy to the room and was just enough participation to get people on their feet but not feel awkward about participating. Would definitely use them again and book them for the day and have them do 20-30 minutes at a time to break up the “standard speaker” agenda!"
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