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Matt Elwell

Instructional Design and Consulting, Entertainment

Hi, I'm Matt Elwell, CPLP. I teach companies to improvise.

Matt Elwell's Bio:

Matt Elwell uses the lessons of improvisation to help individuals experience greater imagination, joy, and success at work.

From developing sales trainings for 1500 call center representatives of a major long-distance company to executive coaching for a pastoral team at an Oak Park church, Matt's learning and development strategies have impacted a variety of organizations. As President and CEO of Chicago's only all-ages friendly comedy theater, Matt takes the lessons of improv from the stage and applies them to every aspect of running a business.

Matt has been a resident of Chicago, Illinois for 13 years and has almost learned to stop putting ketchup on his hot dogs.  He lives in the Lakeview neighborhood with his wife, Kathe.

Matt Elwell's Experience:

  • Artistic Director at ComedySportz Chicago

    Quality / artistic oversight on all products. Directed Instructional Design and Delivery efforts for our training division which provided adult soft-skills development through improvisation.

  • Associate Faculty Member at The Second City

    Taught Levels B and E in the Improvisation Program at the Chicago location of The Second City Training Center.

  • Training Center Manager at ComedySportz Chicago

    Oversaw ComedySportz's public classes. Responsible for sales, marketing, administration, and faculty coordination. Supported both adult classes as well as our High School League(r) program. I am still a huge believer in our High School League. The current trends in education like socio-emotional learning, character education, and business soft skills are all inherent to improv training. Not to mention, kids think improv is really cool. To them, the fact that improv also prepares them to be better contributors to society is just the icing the cake. To us, it's why we get up in the morning!

  • Director of Marketing and Public Relations at ComedySportz Chicago

    My first staff position with ComedySportz was overseeing our marketing, branding, and communications efforts. My greatest successes of this time included: o Administrating the national adoption of a new brand strategy developed in Chicago. o Shifting ComedySportz's thinking from month-to-month, to a year-long strategy to reach the single-ticket buyer. o Designing and facilitating a strategic planning process with the executive team that addresses mission, vision, and culture.

  • Trainer / Associate at TenIca Consulting Company, Inc.

    Led DiSC-based trainings in "Dealing With Difficult People." Used humor and improvisation to supplement training efforts

  • performer at WNEP Theater

    Performed in the improvised "Defending Your Life," created and directed by Don Hall

  • performer at iO Chicago

    Began classes at iO in June of 1999. (Still ImprovOlympic back then.) Made it onto some "Harold" teams: -- Old Child Star -- The Control Group -- The Orphans

  • performer at The Playground Theater

    Member of the Incubator Team - The Union

  • President and CEO at ComedySportz Chicago

    I connect the improvisational spirit we value onstage to the values we live offstage. Responsible for overall strategy, the development of our people, and the achievement of day-to-day operational success over four business units - a theater, a full-service bar, a corporate training, entertainment, and brand advocacy provider, and a training center. When not doing that, I travel the Northern Midwest performing keynotes, designing training, and coaching executive teams on: o sales o team building o communication skills o making meetings better o presentation skills o leadership o creativity/innovation o customer service o management ... all using the transformative power of improvisation.

  • Instructional Designer / Trainer at Dave and Co

    On behalf of Dave and Co, I design instructor-led and blended learning experiences for clients across the country. While I began with this company as a performer for corporate entertainment, my current area of expertise is large scale training deployments to support call center sales initiatives.

  • Performer and Instructor at ComedySportz Chicago

    In addition to 10 years of working on ComedySportz's staff, I have spent most of my time in Chicago as a performer and teacher at ComedySportz, as well. Though, I mostly leave making our audiences laugh to our full-time performers, every once in a while you will see me on our stage -- or as we say in ComedySportz, "the field." With my students in our training center, I focus on creating experiences *with* the audience instead of just for them. I still teach on average 2-3 classes a year.

Matt Elwell's Education:

  • American Management Association - Chicago

  • Second City Training Center

    Concentration: Directing Program
  • The Annoyance

    Concentration: Improvisation
  • iO Chicago (formerly ImprovOlympic)

    Concentration: Long-form Improvisation
  • University of Delaware

    Concentration: Philosophy and English
  • Woodstown High School

Matt Elwell's Interests & Activities:

applied improvisation, comedy, strategy, philosophy, cooking, and the occasional round of Ghost Squad on the Nintendo Wii!

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