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Better Presentation Skills Through Improv Comedy

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Avish ParasharBy Featured Speaker Avish Parashar

Do you want to improve your presentation skills and be a great speaker? Then you should consider learning improvisational comedy!

I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t improvise my speeches. I write them out and memorize them.”

That may be the case, but there are three reasons you should still learn improv comedy:

  1. You will definitely find yourself in situations where you have to give an unscripted speech. Maybe you get asked to speak on short notice, or for a presentation so small it is not wort scripting.
  2. Things will go wrong, and you may have to go “off-script” and improvise.
  3. Learning to improvise will absolutely 100% improve your scripted presentation skills!

If you’re unfamiliar, improv comedy is a form of theater where performers take the stage with nothing prepared in advance and make it up as you go along. Learning improv comedy can help your presentation skills in the following powerful ways:

1) You will be more authentic – The best bit of advice you can receive as a speaker is to “be more authentic.” Unfortunately, many people who suggest this never go on to explain *how* to be more authentic. Any competent improv instructor will not only stress the importance of being authentic when improvising, but will also take you through exercises designed to help you learn how.

2) You will develop natural movements – Many presentation skills coaches and instructors teach you to not move your arms at all, and to keep them at your side. They say that hand gestures are distracting. Not true! While excessive hand gestures may distract the audience, it is even more distracting to watch someone struggle to stay still who likes to move. The exercises in improv comedy can help you develop movements that are natural and don’t distract.

3) You will be funnier – Even if you are not a humorist, if you can make an audience laugh, or at least smile, you will be a success. It’s called improv *comedy* for a reason. By learning improv, you will develop you own natural sense of humor and learn to use it off the cuff, as needed.

4) You will be better able to connect with the audience – Improv is an interactive performance form. The audience is part of the show. As you become a better improviser, you will learn to work with the audience and automatically sense when they are with you and not.

Consider taking a class or joining an improv group. All major cities and many smaller ones have improv groups that put on shows and offer classes. If not, try checking in with local theaters – many of them offer classes in improvisation.

Not only will you improve your presentation skills, but you will also have a tremendous amount of fun!


Get the free MP3, “IMprov for Speakers” and the special report, “The 6 Steps to Using Improv Comedy to be a Great Speaker,” visit www.improvforspeakers.com/freeaudio.

Avish Parashar is a dynamic professional speaker who uses improv comedy to help managers and organizations be more flexible and think quickly on their feet. For more free articles, downloads, and resources, visit: www.AvishParashar.com.

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