Effective and authentic communication training that builds trust and confidence

Successful business means communicating well, but everyone can get stuck sometimes. We run live learning sessions about real-time workplace communications – selling, pitching, presenting, networking, negotiating and leading – at all levels of global organisations. Our background in live performance skills, theatre storytelling and stage improvisation brings a different kind of credibility and authentic energy to the training room or Zoom. If you are looking for a workshop that cuts through cynicism and connects with your people we can help.

“I put it all into action this week and got the best feedback of my career” Legal Associate

Our Courses and Workshops

We work with individuals, workshop groups of 8-16 and big conference groups; most of our work is in person and we can also help with the challenge of remote communications on Teams and Zoom. Our workshops will always respond the specifics of your brief, but here are some popular offerings for you to browse.

About us and our history

Founded in 1997 by Deborah Frances-White and Tom Salinsky, building on the insights and well-founded practice of the late Keith Johnstone, our work began with performances and has branched out into teaching improv, training corporate groups, public speaking, podcasting, playwriting, theatrical production and justice advocacy.

Insights Blog

Our accessible and human angle on communication is reflected everywhere in the world around us, and we are inspired to respond straight away Here is our blog library, with provocations, observations, recommendations for best practice, challenges to the norm and useful tips.

Our Training Courses and Workshops

If you have identified a skills gap among your people, witnessed team members communicating in ways that failed to connect, or are looking for an intervention at your big event that will jolt attendees into engaged interactions with strangers across their organisation, we would love to help.

Our sessions are the opposite of a passive schoolroom – your people will be actively engaged with the learning process and each other – and we know how to make that participation authentic, exciting and safe. We connect the client’s brief with the specific needs of the individuals present, so that every session is unique, and each participant takes away learnings that are for them alone.

Here are some of our most popular offerings, which are a helpful jumping off point for a conversation with new clients. And we also love inventing new programmes, so if you have a training challenge different from these don’t be shy of asking us to pitch ideas.

Our most popular courses and workshops

The Power of Storytelling

In an age of infinite data and competing evidence, storytelling has become the number one reason corporate clients get in touch with us. It frustrates us when an intelligent colleague with something urgent to impart can seem dull, and a high-stakes pitch with plenty of supporting material can end up leaving an audience distracted, unsatisfied and disengaged. 

Average Duration:

2-3 hours
Find Out More

Personal Impact

How did you do it, on the day that meeting went so well? Why didn’t the same strategy work in that other meeting? What is our charismatic colleague doing, so that their impact seems to be more effective than ours, and their relationships more productive? This course has systematically changed the way people approach these questions, offering…

Average Duration:

One day
Find Out More

Presentation Training

One-on-one conversations are usually straightforward, but presenting to a group of professionals at work is not. Public speaking awakens fight-or-flight instincts in most people – our training sessions brings the secret insights of theatre professionals to your meeting rooms and conference spaces.

Average Duration:

One day
Find Out More

Negotiating and Relationship Building

Doing productive and lasting business with others involves both parties being happy with the outcome – but that can easily be very elusive. With a combination of empathy, impact, patience and consistency this workshop peels back the turf from the emotional minefield; so that each participant can avoid accidentally blowing up a good interaction through error, but still dare to approach the red line safely, and make negotiation and relationship building move hand-in-hand rather than head-to-head.

Average Duration:

2-3 hours
Find Out More

Our Mission Statement

We do many different things – writing, podcasting, performing, training and coaching – but they are all part of single bigger mission. We love seeing people changed because of positive connections – to others, and to our own instincts, intuition and potential. We know that change can be fun, and that the risks are worth it. And we have learned that each individual person’s contribution matters more than they think. We take your challenges and ordeals seriously.

We think people are wired first for talking, looking and listening, and only then for writing and reading; that much of our impact and connection between us is non-verbal; that stories tend to win out over evidence, so we can’t leave them to our competitors; that your workplace relationships are at their most productive when you can trust your contacts, and communicate more like friends and good neighbours; that fear of failure starts in school and stops you experimenting at work; that doing is more useful and interesting than talking about it, and that waiting till you are ready means not doing it at all.

So our work attends to every person’s own story. It delights us to see professional people taking emotional risks; people love reconnecting with their instinct and intuition, and when they make new discoveries the excitement motivates well beyond what happens in the training room – the impact lasts and the consequences are felt years and decades on.


Who are The Spontaneity Shop?

Deborah Frances-White and Tom Salinsky founded the Spontaneity Shop In 1996 as a theatre company, performing stage improvisation and teaching improv skills in London, around the UK and abroad; Alex MacLaren joined them in 2000. Over the next 5 years we faced pleas from improv students to witness and develop the impact of what they were learning in their places of work, which led to our first professional development workshops.

Since 2005 our unique perspective and background has gradually combined with a deep understanding of the challenges of professional life, and today we have decades of experience training professionals both senior and junior from all over the world.

Alex and Tom deliver most of the training work; Deborah is greatly in demand around the work in the field of Diversity and Inclusion since the global success of her podcast The Guilty Feminist.

Deborah Frances-White

Deborah Frances-White is a comedian best known for her hit podcast The Guilty Feminist which has had 100 million downloads in seven years. She has...
Show More

Tom Salinsky

Tom Salinsky is one of the co-founders of The Spontaneity Shop. With Deborah Frances-White, he is the author of The Improv Handbook now in its...
Show More

Alex Maclaren

Alex MacLaren trained as an actor at the National Youth Theatre, Oxford University and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and he has worked on...
Show More

Our Latest Blog Insights

Nerdy news can be good news

I sent the screenshot above to my colleagues at the Spontaneity Shop yesterday afternoon, and was genuinely excited about it. The little network symbol in...

Hide Self View

Top right; three dots; freedom! It's 2019. You’re having coffee with a close friend, and within seconds of putting down your chocolate éclair she’s alerted...

Learning – with others, or alone?

Going on a course can feel slightly scary; to learn we must face and embrace our failures. At our workshops we make a virtue of...

Zoom Impact when it matters

Here’s a screenshot from today at 1114hrs GMT; arguably one of the most important videoconferences in history. This group is discussing the preliminary results of...


Make An Enquiry

Please enter your contact details with a few words about the reason for getting in touch, and one our team will get back to you promptly.

Often conversation is quicker than correspondence, so if you have a question that requires an immediate response, or would like to brainstorm a problem with one of us, feel free to call 020 7788 4080 – if we are not all occupied with other clients at that time we will pick up!