Kick Your Fear

Top Improv Classes in Austin, TX to Help You Overcome Your Public Speaking Fears

By December 14, 2017 No Comments

Public speaking: we all have to do it at some point in our lives. But for some of us, just the idea of getting up in front of a group of people is enough to make our skin crawl. Statistics show that 7% of the American population (about 27 million people) fear speaking in front of an audience.

Fear of public speaking doesn’t just affect your ability to perform on stage. Statistics show that these fears have a serious impact on:

  • How much money you make
  • College graduation rates
  • Promotions at work

You could be earning 10% less than what you deserve thanks to your fear of speaking out.

Despite these staggering numbers, only 8% of people with a public speaking fear seek professional help. If your fear of public speaking is weighing you down, an improv or comedy class is just the kick you need to overcome your anxiety.

If you’re thinking no way am I doing that, you should think again. Improv and comedy classes are actually supportive, safe spaces for you to come out of your shell. You’ll develop useful social skills that benefit you for life, all while having an absolute blast.

Most improv classes teach people to embrace these 3 fundamental lessons:

  1. Public speaking is really about playing up a role for an audience, whether you’re on a stage or in an important interview. Your performance isn’t a direct expression of your core-self. Once you embrace this line of thinking, the sky is really the limit. Shakespeare really hit the nail on the head when he said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”


  1. Improv performers never know how the night will go when they step onto the stage. An audience member requests the topic, and it’s the goal of the performers to say “Yes! And,”. It’s about learning to go with the flow of a conversation no matter where it leads, which is just as true of public speaking as it is of improv.


  1. You can actually use your adrenaline and anxiety to your advantage. Classes teach you to transform that heart-racing, metallic-tasting, freight train of fear that you normally associate with anxiety into a useful tool to spur quick-thinking.

Residents of Austin, Texas are lucky to have a great selection of classes to choose from. Check out the list below to start your search for an awesome improv class.

Merlin Works

Where: 1500 Toomey Rd, Austin, TX 78704

When: New classes always starting

Suitable For: All levels, including beginners

Website: Merlin Works

Price: $210 for an 8-week class

Known for having Austin’s “best improv classes and instructors”, this institution has been built around helping beginners unlock their inner potential since 2003. The talented instructors ensure the Merlin is a no-pressure place for adults to have fun. One Google reviewer praised their methods for dealing with beginners: “Shana Merlin has created a wonderful environment where you safely learn to take risks.”

Classes are ongoing, and you can easily sign up online.

The Institution Theatre

Where: 3708 Woodbury Dr, Austin, TX 78704

When: New classes starting in January

Suitable For: Comedy and improv beginners

Website: The Institution Theatre

Price: $150 for an 8-week class

Feel like exercising your funny bone? The Institution Theatre offers a 6-week beginner’s course in stand up comedy. You’ll learn the entire process of writing and delivering jokes on a stage in front of welcoming and supportive teachers.

Shy newbies are welcome, as reviewers say this is a place where “they will treat you like family”. And conveniently, you can browse and sign up for their large variety of classes online.

The Hideout Theatre

Where: 617 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

When: New classes always starting

Suitable For: All levels, including beginners

Website: The Hideout Theatre

Price: $225 for a 6-week class

Located in the stylish heart of downtown Austin, The Hideout Theatre specializes in all things improv. They offer classes to people of all ages and skill levels, so you can be sure you’ll fit right in. One Facebook reviewer reassures us that they offer a “fabulous community and great instructors.”

Classes are always ongoing, and it’s easy to sign up online. There’s even a weekly free class offered if you want to see what it’s all about.

Fallout Theater

Where: 616 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

When: Beginner’s improv classes beginning in January

Suitable For: All levels, including beginners

Website: Fallout Theater

Price: $250 for an 8-week sketch class, $225 for an 8-week improv class

The Fallout Theater is a live comedy venue offering training and classes in improv, sketch, and standup comedy. Formerly, The New Movement, this theater is just getting classes ramped up.

Classes and training sessions are available through their Eventbrite page.

Coldtowne Theater

Where: 4803 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

When: New classes starting in January

Suitable For: All levels, including beginners

Website: Coldtowne Theater

Price: $250 for an 8-week class

Coldtowne Theater quickly made a name for itself as one of Austin’s best comedy clubs since opening in 2005. They offer comprehensive classes in improv and sketch comedy that are very friendly, particularly for beginners. One Yelp reviewer who attended their free improv class said, “useful listening and communication skills were learned even in the first hour.”

Right now, you can sign up for their beginner’s sketch comedy and improv classes in January. These classes are 8 weeks long, so you’ll really spend time getting to know your classmates, teachers, and yourself!

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