The one thing in the world of value is the active soul.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
If practicing influence skills is like participating in a fitness program and planning for influence is like preparing for a journey, carrying out an influence plan is a lot like doing improvisational theater. You go in with a objective, some ideas about how to reach it, and a lot of knowledge about the situation. There is no script, however, and you're not the only actor. You have to respond to the lines the other players feed you and to the developing situation without losing track of where you want the performance to go. You have to be fast on your feet and flexible in your approach.
There are many lists of “improv rules,” but here are a few that apply well to the practice of influence: