Think on your Feet

Tips and Tricks to Improve your Impromptu Communication Skills on the Job

By: Jen Oleniczak Brown (Founder of The Engaging Educator)

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Get out of your own way!

Our professional lives are full of situations outside of our control. A job interviewer asks a question out of left field. A coworker puts you on the spot in front of the boss. Your PowerPoint presentation crashes at a critical moment.

Most people react to the unexpected with anxiety and unease. We get rattled, stumble over our words, and overthink the situation. Others, though, handle it with self-assurance and aplomb. They gain a sense of empowerment and energy when the pressure is on.

Like great improv actors, they’re able to think on their feet.

The great thing is, improv isn’t about winging it or flying by the seat of your pants; improv at its core is about listening and responding. It’s based on rules and techniques, and it taps directly into your soft communication skills. By incorporating it into your prep work for professional situations, you’ll learn how to retrain your brain for the unexpected and get out of your own way in those unexpected―and expected―professional situations. Practicing improv isn’t about being funny. Instead, it’s about developing the mental agility to spin any surprise in your favor and to communicate with confidence.

Filled with engaging improv activities, this interactive guide will ensure you never come away from a tough moment pondering the woulda, coulda, shoulda! again. You’ll learn how to nurture your personal style for communicating in every professional situation. From effective listening in the office, giving presentations, and leading meetings to negotiating a raise, acing an interview, and more, you’ll start communicating with confidence and stop letting the unexpected hold you back. Take your workplace communication―and your career―to the next level by mastering the art of Thinking on Your Feet.

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advance praise

“[Think on Your Feet] is a helpful maven’s guide ideal for anyone who views a podium with fear and trembling.”―Publishers Weekly

“One of the best Presentation books of all time” – BookAuthority

“Too often fear of saying the wrong thing holds us back from our achievements. This book provides the tools and mental hacks to help you communicate confidently. Jen Brown’s unique incorporation of improv frameworks and exercises are not only wholly effective, they’re wildly engaging. This is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their communication skills.”
—Katie Kapler, CEO of CourseHorse

“Think on Your Feet is both super readable and relatable. It blends the best of a fun improv class with the career guidance books we devour because they set us straight. Jen’s account of how best to apply improv basics to work and life moments bring a fun perspective and approach to age-old concerns. I fully recommend this book to anyone hoping or plotting how to get ahead with the next phase of their lives. Improv or scripted, Jen’s explanations and samples of common professional moments make any scenario relatable, so that you’ll feel prepared and ready.”
—Eileen Cannon, Senior Director, Content + Curriculum, PBS

“Jen Brown not only makes improv accessible, she also weaves in lessons of empathy and strength. This is a read, learn, apply book. I’ve learned a new language that I already see sneaking into several conversations, and, more importantly, into my actions.”
—Travis Sheridan, Global Director, Venture Café

“Think On Your Feet is a self-improvement book that teaches you how to apply the brilliant lessons of improv to your daily life. As an HR professional, I know a thing or two about sensitive conversations and this book is filled with advice on how to master even the most difficult of conversations. Jen offers a wealth of great tips, fun tricks, and exercises and shows you how to work them into your day-to-day. ‘Yes, and’ I’ll be recommend- ing this book to my whole team.”
—Jessica DeGrado, HR People Partner, Atlassian

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Want to interview Jen for your podcast or TV show? Interested in reviewing THINK ON YOUR FEET?

Contact her publicist, Julia Borcherts, at Julia(at)kayepublicity(dot)com or 773.878.0722.

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