Guy Nelson

Build skills & confidence in communication, change management, collaboration, creativity & teambuilding

Guy Nelson uses the art of improvisation as a vehicle to help business audiences build skills and confidence in communication, collaboration, creativity, listening, change-management and teambuilding.

As a speaker, author, actor, musician, trainer and broadcast journalist, he is also a long-time member of Seattle’s premier improv theatre troupe, Unexpected Productions.

Guy and his team lead custom interactive workshops for businesses, associations, government agencies and schools around the U.S. and overseas in countries including Japan, India, China and England. He believes creativity is a skill that anyone can develop and apply to all facets of their life, which deepens their connection to everything around them.​​​

The author of “Creative Thinking, Creative Play: Using Improvisational Games to Transform People, Classrooms and Organizations,” Guy has also a member of the International Applied Improv Network and has a long career as a broadcast journalist for NPR. He’s served as on-air host, reporter, editor and manager for the Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW, among others.

Guy’s audiences learn to:

  • Sharpen creative thinking skills
  • Build stronger teams
  • Deepen connections among colleagues
  • Inject a sense of fun and play into group interactions
  • Develop empathy and understanding
  • Heighten group and individual self-awareness
  • Learn the power and practice of good storytelling
  • Build confidence in public speaking and presentations

Audience comments include:

“It was fun, learned to think outside the box and work as a team and hear everyone’s ideas.”

“It brought people out of their comfort zones and effectively promoted collaboration.”

“Great way to get me thinking about innovation. Particularly how negativity can hurt the process so much.”


His always-interactive, playful programs and keynotes included content that:

  • Improves creative thinking and application
  • Redefines audiences’ ideas about risk, success and failure
  • Transforms thinking from a “Fixed Mindset” to a “Growth Mindset”
  • Explores how a “Yes, and” attitude opens doors to opportunities all around us

In collaboration with you, Guy will craft a workshop(s) aligned with your goals to deliver clear, positive results.

Start With the Right Mindset:

Give Your Employees and Co-Workers New Ways to Think, Interact and Grow

With a Fixed Mindset, you believe your potential, situation and worldview are fixed and unmovable. People with a Growth Mindset believe they can change and improve every aspect of their approach to life. And they outperform those with Fixed Mindsets, because a Growth Mindset embraces challenges and new information, treating them as opportunities to learn and grow.

Common sense would suggest that being smart and having ability inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a Growth Mindset are resilient and not overly bothered by setbacks.

The horizon toward the future used to be predictable, so a Fixed Mindset was adequate. But in the new information age, life is much more complex and at times, chaotic.

Today many professionals describe the world as VUCA:  Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.

To thrive in that world, teams need critical leadership skills that are hallmarks of a Growth Mindset:

  • agility
  • innovation
  • adaptability
  • collaboration
  • communication
  • openness to change
  • higher-order critical thinking skills

Team Building Through Improvisational Games: The Importance of Creative Play

Creative Play differs from games that are competitive or strategic. The point is to develop heightened group communication while expanding the team’s collective imagination.

Creative Play builds trust in ways that encourage people to take risks, because they’re fully supported by the rest of the team. Hierarchies and limiting patterns are replaced with enthusiastic participation and creative potential.

Your group will experience:

  • Lateral and divergent thinking and behavior
  • Exploring ideas without fear of failure
  • Blame disappears because everyone helps find solutions
  • Hierarchies disappear because everyone contributes equally to the experience
  • Promoting deep listening and authenticity
  • Developing team connections, empathy and understanding
  • Better appreciation for each member’s latent talents, skills and imagination

Feedback slice:

Great experience! I love to see colleagues outside of our normal work interactions. It helps remind me that we are all creative, caring and intelligent!”

“It helped me get out of my comfort zone and have more self-awareness. The workshop helped with team bonding and creating a language that we’re all familiar with and can bring up when we want to talk about something.”

“It was great. I was looking forward to Guy’s guest speaking in my Interpersonal Communications class. I loved it!”

“It helped a lot and it worked easier to not think so hard about what we are doing.”

“Being present and in the moment is an important skill that takes time to get.”

“Guy was a lot of fun, he made the room light up. It felt good to see the entire class interact with one another.”

“…the different activities that we did really helped to strengthen my communication skills.”

“I really enjoyed Guy’s time with us. He brought out some interesting ideas that I have not heard of for communication practice.”

Among his clients:

  • US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
  • Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Washington Economic Development Commission
  • Northeast Washington Local Government Academy
  • Central Washington Local Government Academy
  • Walla Walla Community College teachers and students
  • National Assn of Community College Entrepreneurship Educators
  • The Sierra Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA)
  • Tacoma Center for Spiritual Living
  • United Way of King County – Seattle
  • British Columbia Economic Development Association
  • The Sherwood Trust – Walla Walla
  • Northfork 20/20 (Paonia, Colorado)
  • Delta County Economic Development Association