The Second City

From the theater that gave us such famous comedic actors as Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi and Mike Myers comes a hilarious group whose presentation gives you tools you can use to help solve everyday business issues. Performers from The Second City give you insight into the elements of improvisational comedy—comedy completely made-up on the spot—while demonstrating how these skills apply to the business world and how you can use them to meet the challenges you face. You get a new, interactive way to explore issues relevant to your organization and have fun in the process.

In an engaging keynote presentation, your audience will be treated to an exciting combination of comedy sketches focused on the topic you’ve chosen, as well as improv games that get your audience involved in what’s happening on stage. Amidst the laughter, you’ll learn how the basic tenets of improvisation—teamwork and collaboration, creativity, innovation, risk-taking, communication and the ability to think on your feet—will improve your organization’s environment and interactions.

TOPICS

Funny Business: The Live Customized Comedy Show
The Second City’s most popular offering, custom shows are clean, one act revues lasting approximately 50-60 minutes, and prepared specifically for your company. A third of the show is made up of original scenes crafted by TSC’s 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. You approve all content and they work hard to make it suitable to your organization.

Interactive Talk Show
The talk show helps you transform what could be a series of podium speeches into an opportunity for your executives to connect with an audience. You get to pick the guests, and The Second City’s host will tee-up their talking points with light questions and a little fun, including “commercial breaks” as live scenes throughout the show. These “commercials” are custom-written sketches that highlight the topics of the day, generating hearty laughs and a great transition into discussions between the host, the guests on stage, and the audience who is involved via roving microphone (thanks, Donahue). The talk show typically runs 60-90 minutes.

BizQuiz: The Game Show About Your Company
This customized game show, complete with an over-the-top host and competitive contestants, is a great way to convey some interesting facts and insights about your company, new products, or internal process changes. The 45-60 minute show has an open format and can even incorporate your executives or guests to show off their knowledge on the unique details of the industry (think “name that acronym” or “buzzword bingo”).

Improv Keynote
Audiences loathe flat, cookie-cutter monologues posing as ‘keynote speeches’. The Second City’s improv keynotes are interactive, funny experiences that encourage your audience to “think outside the box” and become more innovative in their careers. The program starts with a focus on Innovation, the very element that has allowed The Second City to create award-winning productions on stage and television, and combines presentation, demonstration, audience participation and entertainment elements in a perfect blend. Each keynote contains sharp, funny hosting supported by hilarious videos to reinforce the learning points. Improv keynotes typically run 45-60 minutes.

Full Biography

Our unique brand of social and political satire mixed with improvisation has delighted audiences all over the world. The skills we use to create the world’s best satire and comedy are the same skills we teach every day to many of the world’s most successful corporations, helping them become more innovative, team driven and nimble organizations.

We use humor and open conversation to honestly identify challenges, and improv learning techniques that build both individual and team skills to address those challenges. In fact, because everything we do in improvisation is about enabling the ensemble, teamwork is an inescapable outcome of our work.

Behind “the funny” is a powerful learning methodology and a sensibility that gets to the truth in any situation, which is what makes us funny in the first place. Our mission with our corporate clients is to bring a little humanity and authenticity back into business, because our experience shows that humanity trumps fear, and when fear is gone, it is possible to create, innovate and connect powerfully.

In 2023, Liz’s highly acclaimed book, Dare To Own You, placed in the Silver/ 2nd Place category for “Self-Help” of the annual Feathered Quill Book Awards and was also a Finalist in the category of “memoir/ biography.” It is available on Amazon and Audible and at Barnes & Noble.

Prior to launching Brunner Communications in 2013, Brunner served as a main news anchor and reporter at ABC-TV, WCVB NewsCenter 5 in Boston. During her tenure, Brunner co-anchored the #1 rated 6pm newscast and covered countless breaking news stories. She conducted exclusive one-on-one interviews with prominent figures ranging from professional athletes to global political leaders including President Barack Obama. Recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished journalists, Brunner’s distinguished approach of educating and communicating information to viewers has yielded countless industry awards & earned her a devoted following. Among Brunner’s industry recognitions are multiple New England Emmy Awards, two national Gracies from the Alliance for Women in Media, an Edward R. Murrow Award, an Associated Press Award, and a Communications Achievement Award from the American Women in Radio and Television.

Brunner has served on the Board of Directors for Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board, and was inducted into the 2017 class of the Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers. Speaking frequently at philanthropic events, Brunner’s engagement in the community has been instrumental to the success of deserving nonprofit organizations. In addition to keynote speaking engagements, Brunner continues to make TV and radio appearances as well.

A classically trained vocal performer and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.

Programs

Brunner has served on the Board of Directors for Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board, and was inducted into the 2017 class of the Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers. Speaking frequently at philanthropic events, Brunner’s engagement in the community has been instrumental to the success of deserving nonprofit organizations. In addition to keynote speaking engagements, Brunner continues to make TV and radio appearances as well.

A classically trained vocal performer and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.

“COMMUNICATE, CONNECT & ENGAGE”
Each and every person, no matter what profession or industry, needs to exude confidence, “executive presence,” and communicate effectively in all relationships in order to “seal the deal.” Liz Brunner shares her practical and proven communication tips, storytelling techniques and innovative “Brunner Method” for practicing that can be implemented immediately that will energize anyone to connect more authentically with customers, clients and colleagues in a way that resonates, engages and gets results.

“BE THE LEADER WITHIN”
With so much uncertainty in the world, leaders face multiple challenges and complexities requiring a renewed focus on what makes an effective leader today. Companies need to develop new leaders and empower them to be successful in the future. However, simply giving someone the responsibilities or title of a leader doesn’t necessarily make a person an effective nor influential leader. No one is born knowing how to be a leader. We learn how to be a leader. As a sought after authentic leader and keynote speaker, Liz Brunner offers an approach that will inspire audience members to unleash their leader within.

“FINDING YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE”
Your voice is an instrument. It’s the one instrument we all play, but just because you have a voice and can speak, does not necessarily mean you are using it in a way to ensure you are being seen and heard as you intend.  Each of us must find our authentic voice. As a former semi-professional singer, award-winning news anchor and executive communications coach, Liz Brunner provides actionable tools of how to find and use your authentic voice, the language required to command respect, and to be seen and heard as you intend.

“NO KNOWLEDGE IS EVER WASTED!”
What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail? What would any of us do if we didn’t allow fear to stop us? Too often we don’t take the risk of stepping out of our comfort zone to create our next chapter. And, even if we want to, we don’t know how or where to turn. Liz Brunner’s inspirational career journey from music teacher in the high school classroom, to her Emmy award-winning career in the television newsroom and on the anchor desk, to being an entrepreneur, Executive Communications Coach working with other CEOs in the boardroom, will motivate you to discover what themes and patterns exist in your own journey. No knowledge is ever wasted. No experience is ever wasted. You know more than you think you know. Liz’s motivational message will guide you to connect the dots of your own experiences to create your next chapter.

“SEVEN STEPS TO SUSTAINING SUCCESS”
Congratulations! You’ve done it. You visualized your dreams into reality. But now what? Where do you go from here? You may even be asking yourself, “Is that all there is? Have I really achieved ‘success’ or is there more? And, what is ‘success?” How do I define it for myself?’” Sustaining success does not happen by accident. It’s about “evolving.” Evolving through the tough times, handling the curveballs that life will throw at you. It takes resilience, developing an inner strength to meet those challenges head-on and to persevere. Having journeyed through four successful, at times challenging career chapters—High School music teacher, to retail, to award-winning TV news anchor to entrepreneur—Liz Brunner knows what it takes to be resilient, to persevere and she can help you not only define success for you, find your “mojo” if you’ve lost it, and tangible tactics and practices to intentionally sustain success.

“NETWORKING LIKE A PRO!”
Networking is essential to advancing your career — “it’s not what you know, but WHO you know,” but for many people, whether extrovert or introvert, networking can feel like many of the same pitfalls as dating! All those awkward conversations. Liz Brunner delivers her creative, customized “Pre-Game, Game-Time, and Post-Game” approach to networking with practical tips and techniques that can easily and immediately be implemented.

“WHAT’S AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE? HOW TO FIND YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE”
Two questions have been asked over and over again by generations; “What is my passion?” And, “What is my purpose?” Passion and purpose are inextricably linked, but figuring out either requires one to get out of their comfort zone, and that is not always easy! In this highly motivational speech, Liz Brunner offers guidance on how to discover your own passion and purpose, and how to break patterns that may be holding you back from following your destiny and living your best life.

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