If you have ever seen a good improv theatre show, you know how natural and effortless the interactions between the actors seems to be. As someone who spend a few months learning improvisational theatre, I can tell you – effortlessness comes from diligent preparation. Not rehearsing specific scenes but practicing the art of improv over and over again, continuously pushing yourself to a more fluid flow of give and take, action and reaction.
While being on vacation, I managed to read a stack of books – amongst them Chris Voss’ excellent book “Never Split the Difference”. In it he summarizes beautifully why preparation truly is everything:
“When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion—you fall to your highest level of preparation.”
I believe this to be of fundamental truth – which means that we all need to spend (more) time preparing and practicing our art so that when it counts, we can comfortably fall back on our highest level of preparation.
Two years ago I brought Guy Kawasaki to Singularity University Global Solutions Program. After his excellent talk one of our participants asked Guy how he became so good at public speaking. Guy laughed and said: Thousands of hours of practice. Watch the video – at about 1:28:30 you can find the moment…
Want to deliver an excellent pitch next time you are in front of a VC? Fall back to your highest level of preparation – instead of winging it and hoping for the best.