Presentation Lessons from Improv

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Information about Presentation Lessons from Improv
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: diannei



Improv theater provides lots of useful tricks for how to be a more effective presenter, whether conducting training, running design sessions or delivering a business presentation.

What IMPROV taught me about giving effective training PRESENTATIONS

• Be present Be present

Get out of your own head. Focus on your space and your audience, not on yourself and your nerves.

Make eye contact

Don’t be a slave to your slides or your notes. Your audience came to see you – look at them!

listen Lean in and listen

It’s not about how much you know; It’s about what your audience is trying to learn. So listen to their questions…. and answer them, Even if you don’t get to follow your exact script!

“ Yes, and …”

Most of the time people ask questions to learn. Sometimes it’s to challenge your credibility. Don’t get defensive – use challenges as a base! Build on comments and questions to make your points!

Practice mirroring

Pay attention and show empathy. Subtly mirroring someone’s movements helps to create connection.

Dress the part

Dress for credibility and comfort. Think about the message your clothes send. And Wear clothes that fit – tugging, pulling and squirming are distracting!

Take a few risks

Be willing to try new things. It helps keep your material – and you – fresh!

Make movement deliberate • Make movement deliberate

Avoid fidgeting and mindless shuffling. If your feet need to move, walk with purpose. If your hands need to move, make your gestures meaningful.

Show, don’t tell

Demonstrating is more powerful than describing. Tell a story, show a video, use props or visual aids!

Stay humble

Remain open to learning new things. Your peers, your mentors and your audience can all teach you something!


It may be counterintuitive, but rehearsing makes improvising easier when you need to do it!

Breathe • Breathe

When in doubt, just breathe. Good breathing quiets your mind, calms your nerves, helps project your voice and keeps you from passing out !

Thank you Photos: Fonts: dianne_tweets

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