Speaking to decision makers is a lot like jazz or stand-up comedy: improvisation is required! Things move fast. Change happens quickly. Stick to a rigid script and drone on with PowerPoint slides...you're guaranteed to lose.
- Feel the moment and read the crowd both in what you say and how you say it
- At every moment you are given the choice about what to do
- You can't rehearse improv on the stage or in the boardroom
- Be passionately engaged in your content to build confidence
- Jazz player Eddie Harris: "Jazz is a business. I read the audience. If I'm playing far out and I see they want a ballad, I'll change in the middle of the tune."
- CEO Steve Kirsch: "Eighty percent of your success is your ability to improvise, twenty percent is the content per se."
- HBR: "The best team leaders are like jazz players, improvising as they go along."
See our interview with Anton Schwartz
Take Anton's advice and live in the moment with passionate engagement. We'd love to hear from you! What are the similarities you see between improvising in music and improvising with decision makers?