Rehearsed Spontaneity

Brene Brown

In her 2019 Netflix special A Call To Courage, Brene Brown tells a story that is stand-up comedian-level funny. She does this often.

Transcription: “And I said, “Steve, the chances of me getting to Chicago are slim. And I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In the right hand drawer of my study–“
And he’s like, “Oh, my God. Did you write a list of people you think I should marry?”
And I said, “No. I wrote a list of people you damn well better not marry.
And I need you to know… that if you marry somebody on this list… I’ll be back.”

This story is so dead-on it was clearly workshopped ahead of time. Where Brene is so effective is in delivering it so naturally and without a sense of rehearsing. Ironically, the solution to this is to rehearse a lot. Then when you’re telling your story you’re confident and relaxed and far more able to deliver your words in an off-the-cuff-sounding way. Go Brene!

To apply this: take a funny moment you want to share, that you have taken through the STEPS process (SAVE-TEST-EDIT-PRACTICE-SHARE) so that you’ve gotten all the humor out of it, and now practice it as many times as you can until it’s there when you need it, even in an intimidating environment. And right before you’ll have the opportunity to share it (or get nervous and stick with your safe, familiar information), find somewhere you can duck away and breathe deep breaths and calm yourself and trust yourself so you can deliver it when the right moment arrives.