Does public speaking require improvisational skills? No.
Could a public speaker benefit from improvisational skills? Most definitely!
The art of public speaking encompasses many skills. Sometimes it is delivering a one-way flow of information, where the audience is not encouraged to participate or respond.
Other times, it is a two-way dialogue with the audience interacting with the speaker and perhaps changing the flow of the presentation.
One might think of improvisation in the sense of a comedy act created on the spot, with the situation, characters and context provided at the last moment. That is one form.
From a public speaker’s perspective, a skilled speaker can adapt to any situation that they encounter. It means that they can change their content and delivery mid-stream to adapt to changing conditions.
Being improvisational would be an asset to a speaker. One thing to be aware of though is that it has the probability of significantly increasing the time of your presentation. If you are only allotted a certain amount of time and you go off script with improvising, it could easily eat up your time.
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.