LD@3: Enhancing Public Speaking Skills Using Improvisation Techniques

Media Type: Slides, Video
Resource Duration: 60 minutes
Number of downloads: 0

Anxiety around public speaking is well-documented 1. At the University of Manchester Library, we have been using improvisation techniques to equip students and staff with innovative ways to build confidence in this area. Our 60 minute workshop will demonstrate activities using techniques to enhance public speaking skills to give a snapshot into the support we offer as part of our My Research Essentials (MRE) programme. Delegates will have the opportunity to engage with the activities, try out techniques and learn more about how this support has been received. The workshop will give a brief overview of the MRE programme and share data to demonstrate the popularity of this session. Delegates will then participate in improvisation activities that support the development of public speaking and networking skills. We will define some of the issues around public speaking in order to illustrate how improvisation provides a creative and fun way to address this topic by helping individuals to devise strategies to cope with the anxiety associated with this task 2. We will demonstrate an activity which looks at the concept of ‘Yes, and…’. This technique encourages positivity and collaboration by inspiring participants to contribute to and build on each other’s ideas3. We will also present an activity that emphasises the importance of engaging with the audience through eye-contact as participants play a game called ‘Make Your Garden Grow’. This activity is designed to transform the speaker’s perception of eye-contact to affirm it as that which nourishes a symbiotic relationship between presenter and audience.

1. Hamilton, C. (2008) [2005]. Communicating for Results, a Guide for Business and the Professions (eighth edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
2. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/dec/20/comedy-improv-overcome-anxiety-depression
3. Cole, Jordana, “”I’ve Got Your Back: Utilizing Improv as a Tool to Enhance Workplace Relationships”” (2016). Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects. 95. http://repository.upenn.edu/mapp_capstone/95


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Additional Resource Information

View resources by author(s): Jess Napthine-Hodgkinson, Nicola Grayson

Institution(s): The University of Manchester

Event Date: 30/04/2020

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