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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Change Your Character – Succeeding in Unfamiliar Situations Like an Improv Comedian

We’re all faced with the need to perform seamlessly in unfamiliar situations. Who faces a similar challenge? Improvisational comedians. They’re routinely faced with accepting and working with information presented by the audience or other performers and, with no chance to prepare ahead of time, getting people to laugh.

So let’s apply an improv comic’s approach to help us do a better job in new situations that require thinking on our feet. An improv comic:

  • Actively solicits input from the audience and others around them
  • Listens closely to other participants for information & clues
  • Quickly assesses the underlying structure of the situation
  • Becomes comfortable with not being able to figure things out ahead of time
  • Is open to spontaneity
  • Depends on instincts
  • Offers information and clues to others to help them co-participate successfully
  • Works with and builds on information supplied by others
  • Is able to employ a variety of talents to advance the situation
  • Refines the process as new information is determined

Identify three new ideas for each of the approaches above that you can adapt to improve your own performance when you can’t prepare ahead of time.

Note – for the previous post on how to use the Change Your Character technique, click here.

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