Improv Comedy for Speakers
Public speaking. For a lot of, the mere looked at getting up in front of a group of people and presenting a speech is more terrifying than heights, snakes, or simply death. Imagine how terrified those individuals would be if they were inspired to get in front of an audience and get in touch with nothing prepared ahead of time - no script, no speech, no nothing.
Sound crazy? Well that must be Improvisational Comedians do daily. Improvisational (or "Improv") Comedy is a sort of theater where a list of actors take the stage without a penny prepared in advance and rehearse audience suggestions to create instant comedy. Have you ever seen the popular tv show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" then you've seen Improv Comedy.
The skills that allow an improviser to create instant comedy can immensely help any speaker for being more comfortable and powerful from the platform. Here are three reasons why, if you want to be a more effective speaker, it's essential to learn how to be a great improviser:
Improv Comedy, at its core, is concerning self-expression. An Improviser has only himself when using empty stage. Every idea he puts forth derives from inside of him. The perfect improvisers realize this and trust their instincts and let their ideas flow out. Similarly, the best speakers realize that the guests is there to see them. Instead of hide behind other people's ideas or style, they may be 100% themselves as they speak. Many speakers make mistake of taking acting classes for being more "dramatic" as they speak. It's wise a speaker that appears fake and wooden. Audiences do not want "dramatic;" they want natural. Practicing improv comedy techniques may help you be much more natural. Improv Comedy is definitely an interactive format. Improvisation may be the only art form in which the audience is present in the time creation. As a result, the audience's needs, wants, and mood can be taken into account to direct this content. Great improvisers feed off of a crowd's energy and build content the audience appreciates. The performer focuses on the audience and makes subtle adjustments as she goes. Speakers would excel to adopt this approach. Most speakers prepare their speech inside of a vacuum and deliver it just as practiced. However, every audience differs from the others. If a speaker focuses on the audience as nancy speaking, she can also make subtle modifications to increase her effectiveness (adjusting pacing, energy, volume, etc) Should you choose this, not only will your speech be a little more powerful, but you will likely develop that coveted "rapport and connection" while using audience. Things will go wrong. A speaker who relies solely on the amount they've memorized will be easily thrown through the distractions that invariably happen. If time gets cut, or possibly a cell phone rings, or possibly a heckler demands attention, the speaker will have no response. With an improviser, distractions are just a further tool to use in making their point. An essential improv attitude should be to "go with the flow." For a speaker, this attitude allows you to be unflappable from the stage. You can be deemed a true professional, and audiences will admire you skill to handle interruptions.
These are merely three simple ideas that are a powerful way in which improv comedy may make anyone a more powerful speaker. There are lots of more ways related to every aspect of speaking: content, delivery, storytelling, style, humor, etc, however these three are the perfect kick off point.
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If you have never done or used improv, then consider picking a class. Not only will you learn useful skills for speaking (and life), but it will be the most fun class you've ever taken!