Community//

How Improv Boosts Confidence

There’s a common misconception that, in order to do improv and hold the attention of an audience, you need to be naturally funny. Improv doesn’t work this way. There are a few basic, fundamental rules to the game that increase your chances of success, confidence, and being funny if followed. Here’s how improv can boost […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

There’s a common misconception that, in order to do improv and hold the attention of an audience, you need to be naturally funny. Improv doesn’t work this way. There are a few basic, fundamental rules to the game that increase your chances of success, confidence, and being funny if followed.

Here’s how improv can boost confidence (and make you a funnier person).

Accept Whatever Opportunity Comes Your Way

If you’ve done a round of improv warm-ups, you’re familiar with the “Yes, And!” game, not to be confused with “Yes, But.” This simple rule is the thread throughout all scenes – accept what your stage partner is trying to offer you, and the scene continues. Reject it, and it ends. How does this build confidence? Saying yes allows you the opportunity to explore and experience situations that you may not have normally chosen for yourself. Keeping an open mind is the key to creativity, and funnily enough, to comedy.

Stay in the Moment

The beauty of improv is that no one knows what will happen, but everyone is rooting for it to end well. The best way to approach uncertainty is to let go of how you think the scene should develop instead of letting it go where it wants. This means to listen, respond, and support—all basic tools for building confidence and trust.

Take Risks and Embrace Mistakes

No one wants to look foolish, especially in front of a crowd ready to laugh at you, but some of the best moments in improv are the ones that take you out of your comfort zone. The audience knows when you’re in a tight spot, and they want nothing more than to see how you will get out of it. Cheers come when you take on whatever challenge comes your way, and just go with it.

Trust Other Players and Be Trustworthy

The key to a great scene is when all players work together, without any grandstanding or upstaging. This can only really happen if you trust that other players are there to make you look good and vice versa. We won’t always feel confident in life, but it helps when you know others are out there to help get you back into the scene.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    6 Tips From The Improv Stage You Can Apply To Your Business

    by Darrah Brustein
    Community//

    5 screen-free ways to put more humor into your life

    by Chad Patrick Shannon
    Improv Changes Your Life
    Community//

    5 Ways Improv Can Change Your Life and Well-Being

    by Kathy Klotz-Guest

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.