Public Speaking — Benefits of Improv

Improv training will give you more presence on the platform.  It will connect you with your listeners and make your presentations memorable.  In the area of pubic speaking, it’s one of the most valuable skill-building resources available to you.

1.  Connect With Your Audience.  In 1995 I attended my first improv class.  My improv experience has given me many skills to improve my speaking, of which the most valuable has been improving my presence on the platform.  Improv training teaches you to be in the present moment and not to simply be in your notes or in your speech.  You learn to listen without premeditation as to where and how things should be going.  You learn that listening includes eye contact.  That skill turns out to be at the very core of audience connection.  Improv tunes you into the body language of others and improves your connection with others by matching and mirroring.  By internalizing these skills you involve, energize and connect with your audience.

2.  Improve Your Physical Delivery.  Improv skills are ideal for preparing your body for a performance.  I’ve used improv warm up games before early-morning keynotes to energize myself before taking the platform.  Improv training also builds your confidence by reducing your self consciousness.  You learn to let your hair down and have fun.  Your delivery has more confidence because you understand more about movement.  The essence of confidence and status is not who you ARE, it’s what you DO.  It’s how you move and act.  It’s how you use space.  These skills are learned and developed in an improv workshop.

3.  Make Your Talks Memorable.  When audience members are having fun, they remember what they have learned.  Improv teaches you to be a better story teller.  Stories help you show rather than just tell.  Stories build emotional connection.  Emotions lead to associations which lead to memories.  Improv teaches you to become a student of life.  You watch others.  You learn to read the body language of others.  You become better at bringing stories to life by understanding characters, relationships and objectives.  The result of your improv training is that you are able to present engaging programs that stick in the minds of your listeners.

Watch for the next article:  Business and Personal Benefits of Improv