I’ve recently taken improv. Although it may be a bit out of character, (I’m more likely to take a course that feeds the ever-hungry left side of my brain.) it’s proven to be a worthwhile experience for business. How I came to take the class is likely fodder for a future blog, but what’s really more interesting is how improv fundamentals improve your business skills.
During our class, we discussed the three main rules of improv:
1. Getting agreement
2. Adding information, and
3. Committing to your character
Although all the rules create value in any business situation, the one entrepreneurs benefit most from is “committing to your character.” During class, we learned that making a commitment to your character makes you more believable to your audience. As a result, your audience is more apt to take the journey with you.
For example, one of our exercises was ‘be the expert’. The scene was a talk show. The topic – sex. The talk show ‘host’ introduced himself and his panel of ‘experts’. During the course of the talk show, each of us ‘experts’ on the panel needed to speak authoritatively and eloquently about our assigned area of expertise to make the audience believe that we were, in fact, the ‘expert’ that the talk show host said we were. It was hysterical! And, it made a valuable point that we can all take with us in business.
Think about it. When others ask about you and your business, do you lay claim to your ‘expertise’ or are you hesitant? Are you uncertain or indecisive? Apologetic? Maybe you don’t want to come off as the arrogant, egotistical business colleague who continually pontificates so you down-play your skill and knowledge. That’s unfortunate. Undermining your expertise renders you powerless with your audience and, according to the principles of improv, prevents your audience from getting behind you and believing in you.
Granted, as entrepreneurs, we all have moments – and even days – of uncertainty and insecurity. The key is never let your audience see your hesitation! Instead, dig deep. Commit to your expertise. Speak confidently about yourself and your business. Believe in yourself. And, before you know it, your audience will get behind you and support your efforts. BE THE EXPERT!
On the days you struggle to jump over a chalk mark, what have you found helpful in making the leap to ‘being the expert’?
Want more? Read on.