The key points to remember from this chapter are as follows:
- Improvisation rules. Authentic speakers improvise, honestly responding to whatever feedback they get from the audience. Improvisation is what makes speakers believable and separates them from a recorded broadcast. Improvisation is not magic but is a set of skills that you can practice.
- The basis for improvisation is rehearsal. Improvisation requires a quick and an agile mind, which you get when you stop worrying about things that you might have rehearsed. Rehearse more—but don't memorize your speech word-for-word. Otherwise, it will sound canned.
- Speak your mind. The most basic and important skill is just saying what's on your mind without much censorship. You give your unconscious mind a general direction, a basic topic, and then trust it to make decisions for you. Relax control of your speech; switch from censoring mode to monitoring mode. Listen to what you say as it's being said.
- Mistakes are fun. If you notice yourself making mistakes, admit them. Whenever you say something inappropriate, erroneous, or just stupid, correct yourself. Mistakes create tension that is best released in laughter. The easiest way to make your mistake funny is to exaggerate it. Not admitting mistakes creates a downward spiral.
- Worry about the cause. If your concern is about the cause and not about yourself, the audience will forgive you almost anything. Search for truth and don't be afraid to do it publicly whenever you need to. ...