If you aim to evoke or stimulate a particular response or emotion, do you demonstrate that before you even speak?

Countering my awkwardness by practising with an improv exercise beforehand helps create the emotional layout of my talk. Most people run through a speech many times to get it just right. I aim to get it wrong.

I do it silly – exaggerating movements, expressions and the way I speak to loosen up. Then superfast without correcting mistakes – this finds words that I stumble on (change them) and intensifies emotions so I know where to evoke feeling in my audience. Then I do it in my head, expressing it physically to see the tensions and expansions in my body. A final run through is more natural, expressive, and creative.

Every improv class I run includes freeing the self, craftily disguised as play. It helps confidence and spontaneity amazingly.

Do you ever practice getting things wrong? Or realise you have learned something from a mistake?

"I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Cathy yesterday on her Speaking Out programme at Phonic FM. I was really nervous but Cathy's warm manner and professional approach made the whole thing fun. She had thought carefully about what questions would help me speak confidently about things I am passionate about" Morag Kitt Reflexologist