Improv Games for Presentation Skills

Improv games for presentation skillsSo many times in life we are required to stand up in front of people and speak, or react, or dance or sing.  Best man speech, pitching a new idea or even just a birthday at work.  It can be daunting.  We know that the people we like to listen to and watch when speaking are those who are at ease, relaxed and open.  The best public speakers stand out when things ‘go wrong’.  When the slide doesn;t work or the mic goes dead.  What happens then?  You rely on your improv skills that’s what.  These improv games for presentations skills should help.

1. Failure Bow


There are as many ways to do this exercise as there are facilitators who run it.  Here is just one way:

  • Stand in a circle
  • One person steps forward and declares ‘I failed’
  • The raise their hands or adopt a similar celebratory pose
  • The rest of the circle applauds and whoops wildly
  • The ‘failee’ takes a long bow and soaks up the admiration of the room.
  • The next person steps forward and does the same.

Advanced Tips


  • Really take the time to notice how you feel in that moment.
  • Get eye contact with those in the circle
  • Breathe and try to be in the moment
  • There is a danger of the ‘cringe’ element here.  The way to combat the cringe is by stepping forward, not retreating.


  • Living with failure
  • Presenting to a room
  • Being mindful

2. 8 Things

For those moments in life when you don’t have a script but everyone is looking to you to say something.


  • Can be in a circle or around 4 people at a time in front of the rest of the group.
  • Someone gives a category for the next person.  Eg, ‘Vegetables’
  • The next person attempts to name 8 vegetables in quick succession.
  • The group responds after each one with ‘One thing’, ‘Two things’……’Eight things’
  • The game moves on to the next person.

Advanced Tips

  • Keep your momentum going even if it means coming out with utter gibberish
  • This game is not about getting it right.  Get it wrong with attitude.
  • Literally say whatever comes out – repetition, nonsense – ‘My Mum’ usually makes an appearance in my lists.
  • Be supportive as the group by moving them on, even if they remain silent!
  • Laugh when it’s funny.


  • Staying calm under pressure
  • Freeing the brain from judgement
  • Creativity
  • Presentation.

3. Campaign Speech

It is your turn to be the expert and deliver a passionate, rousing oratory.


  • One person is given a random and ridiculous subject. Eg. the plight of miniature penguins.
  • They must deliver a 2-minute speech to raise awareness and persuade the masses that this issue is urgent.

Advanced Tips

  • Use body language, rhetoric, pauses, anything you can to get your message across.
  • Get eye contact and try remaining still and calm.
  • Don’t worry about the content, it’s the passion that will win them over!


  • Self confidence
  • Staying calm under pressure
  • Presentation skills

Not sure you can land this one? Call The Maydays, and we can deliver these games either as part of a CPD accredited Business Improv Workshop, or as a free-standing energiser sequence at a conference or industry event.
We also create and deliver custom improvisation workshops for your business. Here are some of the most popular improv training formats in London, across the UK and internationally.
The Maydays are one of the longest established and renowned improvisation companies in the UK. We deliver comedy improv shows around the world, run regular improv classes in London and Brighton, and regularly deliver custom business improv solutions for organisations. Read how improv at work works here!

We would love to hear about your experiences trying these improv games.  To tell us about it, or to find out how we can bring Improv Training to your life and work, get in touch

Return to the master list of Improv Games.