#1 Success Secret for Actors, Motivational Speakers, Ice Skaters, Lovers and Business People

Jason Brown"Prepare and improvise."

I heard the term a thousand times in graduate acting school, and it took me a while to fully understand how huge the idea was. The concept was that you first prepare. Seriously, deeply, intensely, completely prepare. You know EVERYTHING there is to possibly know about your character, your relationships to the other charcters, your lines and blocking, your motivation to do what you do, your subtext, your …well, everything. You rehearse and rehearse and rehearse. And then – when you get out on stage, you let go of all that and you behave truthfully in every single moment. You pay laser-like attention to everything going on in your/your character's world out there on that stage – and you let what you see and feel guide and inform your next action, word or thought.  You live, truthfully, moment-to-moment. 

And today when I saw a video of the AMAZINGLY talented men's figure skating sensation, Jason Brown, something hit me. He had done the same thing! He too had obviously taken his "preparation" phase to the highest standard possible. But it was his moment-to-moment ability to RESPOND TRUTHFULLY to everything going on (the level of HIS performance and the tremendous reaction of the audience) – that created the electricity.  Watch Jason Brown in action.

I believe that's also what I do as a motivational speaker when I'm on stage. I know exactly how a story is going to unfold, but I will alter how I deliver it, or what I exactly say, in response to something I get from an audience member, or the fact that the room is freezing, or something that happened right before I went on. In other words, I improvise according to what I'm getting.

I hold that this is what can make anyone, in almost any area of life quite effective. Lovers, go ahead and plan that romantic evening, but be prepared to improvise when your sweetheart is clearly needing to talk. Salespeople, have your pitch totally down, but be ready to respond to all the non-verbal messages that indicate you need to change your tactic. Physicians, be fully prepared (after looking at a patient's chart) to know exactly what recommendations to make – and then when you get in the examining room – LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENT! You may determine there are additional contributing factors.

Prepare and improvise. Sanford Meisner would be proud.




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Bingo. How do you do that Linda? You are always able to verbalize and communicate, quite eloquently might I add, what I'm thinking but can't express. That is soooo true. Speaking as a motivational speaker, I know the value in practice practice practice. And then I get out there and do what I rehearse – but allow for spontaneity – I'm in the moment – I'm allowed to react BECAUSE I know the script so well. So there's no such thing as canned, and there's no such thing as losing my place. Well, almost.  And this comes for motivational speakers only after years of practice. Awesome post!

  2. This great post reminds me of how lucky I am to be a motivational speaker in Las Vegas.  I get to go see all these different kinds of shows and performances and see what we have in common.  And, you hit it – prepare so much that you can be spontaneous.  Love it!

  3. Agree that when you feel prepared, you're able to off-line more often. Well written. Prepare and improvise.

  4. Beautifully said, Linda!  And when you do go out there on stage in front of an audience and are able to adjust your delivery to suit the mood you gain a greater connection with the audience and the audience feels it too!

  5. This idea was a defining moment for me. When I realized that audience interruptions should be seen as a blessing to play off of, rather than an annoying interruption that kept me off my "script."

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