Effective Speaking: 7 Ways Improv Comedy Can Make You a Better Speaker

Effective speaking isn’t all that complicated. It really just takes developing and practicing a few core skills. The challenge is that a) a lot of people don’t what these skills are and b) these skills aren’t commonly taught.

One great place to learn this skills is through improv comedy. Whether you find a class in your local area, use the Improv for Speakers DVD, or attend The Speaking School, improv comedy can help you be a better speaker in many ways:


Hello! It’s called improv comedy, remember? Of course it will help you in the humor department.

There is a debate as to whether people can learn to be funnier. I think the answer is an unqualified “yes!” I say that because I have seen it, many times. All people are funny; they just need to learn (or perhaps more correctly, “re-learn”) how to tap into that humor. Good improv comedy training can do that.


My very first year learning improv, my group’s director said, “if you don’t know, fake it with f*&^%$# confidence.” That still sticks out in my head, and that principle has helped out my performance immensely over the years. Whenever I am on stage and playing an improv game, I make sure that I act 100% confident with everything I do, even if I am nervous or uncertain. This same attitude is what gives a speaker presence, charisma, and authority.

Dealing With the Unexpected

When you speak, regardless of the venue, audience, or topic, there is a chance things will go wrong. The sound system may be bad, there may be a competing session next door, you may have a drunk audience member, etc. Great improvisational skills will help you deal with those situations quickly and effectively. Remember: anyone can do well when everything goes great; what will ultimately determine your level of success is how you deal with things when they go wrong – and they will!


With improv, since you are making up everything on the spot, you have to be authentic. Improvisers that try to be like someone else or hide their inner character tend to fail. If they don’t fail, they never rise above mediocrity. The best improvisers learn how to bring 100% of themselves into every performance. The same is true with speaking. The best speakers let their personality, opinion, character, and truth flow out on stage. Weak speakers try to hide and emulate others. Good improv training can help you break those habits and be truly authentic.


Of course improv is a creative activity. One of the most fun and rewarding pieces of performing improv is that it allows you to create something new every single time you play. If let yourself go and trust the process, your creativity will skyrocket. You can use this creativity to write and develop unique, fun, and memorable presentations at every level.

Give it a try! Learn some improv comedy, and then actively see how you can apply what you learn to your speaking. You won’t be disappointed!

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