By attending an improvisation class you can become more comfortable in front of an audience.
One of the best public speaking tools to have up your sleeve is improvisation. Whilst there are many technical skills to learn to become a master at public speaking, one of the best ways to put yourself out there and get more comfortable being uncomfortable is through joining a group or taking a class in improvisation.
You cannot possibly fail
Now that has got your attention! But it is TRUE. There is no right or wrong way to do improvisation – or improv, an art form that allows you to interpret and play with movement. Sure there are forms and techniques to learn if you want to get better at improv. For the purpose of getting more comfortable in front of others and using your voice and your body in a playful way, however, improv is one of the best public speaking tools. You will not stuff it up and you will not look like an idiot (well….maybe you will, but who cares!). Apart from a few basic ground rules and guidelines – it’s over to you for creative licence.
It’s really not that scary
Experiencing the performing art of improv is about getting into a playful state, unleashing your inner child and learning to use your body as a tool to communicate your feelings and what you want to offer the audience.
Public speaking tools: What you may learn in an improv class:
How to let go
Learning to trust your body and not overthink your movements. Just being comfortable that your body and mind will come up with something when thrown an Improv scene or concept. TRUST YOURSELF.
Being fully present
You need to be 100% in the moment to be able to commit to improv, no drifting off and thinking about what you are having for lunch (unless that is part of the scene!). Improv requires you to be relaxed in your mind but focused at the same time, this is why you want it in your kit of public speaking tools.
Be true to yourself and commit
Last month I attended an Improv masterclass with the amazing Casper Schjelbred who was in Perth performing at the Fringe Festival. As a friend of Perth Playback I received a personal invitation, and to be honest when opened it, I thought they must have sent it to the wrong person! I questioned my ability and immediately thought – my improv skills are not good enough to be attending a masterclass by the great Casper!!
It was amazing… and all we were asked to do was to commit to the day and the moment, so if you decided in the moment to step forward on one leg whilst pulling a face like a lizard then go with it!
Stand tall and be yourself
Just as you would stand poised and calm when you are in front of an audience when about to speak in public, you need to do the same when you are about to do an improv scene. At that point, the audience has NO IDEA what you are going to do, and the super fun thing is – that at that point YOU possibly have NO IDEA either!!
In many ways improv as a performing art is easier than public speaking, there is no script, there are no words or phrases to remember there are no stage mechanics to deliver. Whilst it is such a highly skilled art, it is superb fun. You will be challenged, you will laugh, you will inspire, and you will be another step closer to being truly YOU when you step out on that stage.
Why is improvisation one of the best public speaking tools?
Here are just 7 reasons:
- You will get outside of your comfort zone – that’s where the good stuff happens right?
- You will feel a deep sense of connection as you dig deep to share the gift of your Improv form with others.
- It is OK not to be perfect. Just as there is no such thing as a perfect presentation, allow yourself to be authentic and heartfelt.
- You will surprise and even amaze yourself with your ability to read others and to play off their energy when doing an improv scene.
- When you are in the moment and having fun, your audience is having fun too.
- You have all the skills you need to do improv, trust your inner feeling and narrative and share that with the audience.
- You will become a better observer and listener and you will express a true sense of gratitude to those who you have the pleasure to do improv with.
Give it a go – you will be surprised. You don’t have to be a professional actor to enjoy and benefit from improv. Check out upcoming events from Perth Playback.
As a storytelling expert, known as The Story Midwife, I help leaders to create compelling presentations through business storytelling.
Before becoming a Professional Speaker, I worked for over twenty years as a midwife.
I now live and breathe stories as a speaker, trainer, performer and coach.
As a World Class Speaking & Storytelling Coach, I’ll help you mine, refine and deliver a captivating story for your business or brand. Whether it is the boardroom, podium or stage; I can show you how to develop a persuasive presentation with a compelling story that will be hard to forget by anyone who gets to experience it.
If you would like to find out about training for your team, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me email@example.com or call +61 (0)438 902042.