Peter Margaritis, How to Master the Art of Business Improv – InnovaBuzz 478

Peter Margaritis

Peter Margaritis, Off Script: Mastering the Art of Business Improv

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Peter Margaritis, Author of Taking the Numb Out of Numbers & Improv Is No Joke, and his new book, “Off Script: Mastering the Art of Business Improv”. Peter previously appeared on episode 309 of the podcast, and it’s great to welcome him back.

In our discussion, Peter talked to me about:

  • The common myth about improvisation (practice matters!)
  • Authentic Leadership – the art of Monotasking and being fully present
  • Engaging presentations, both in-person and virtually

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Improv is all about parking your ego. It's less about you and more about your team and your audience. @PMargaritis on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Peter Margaritis, Author of Off Script: Mastering the Art of Business Improv

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Everyone of us is in one business only, and that it is the “people business”.
  • Always treat people with respect, trust, and support, because they are our greatest asset.
  • Improvisers are over-prepared and well-prepared individuals who are ready to give their all and be in that moment to provide their knowledge and experience to a situation. 
  • Stand up comedy is scripted whilst Improv is most of the time unscripted. Stand up comedy has a premise, punch line, and a tag, whilst Improv is reacting to a situation completely in that moment. 
  • Improvisation is all about collaboration, communication, and connecting. 
  • Improv is all about parking your ego. It’s less about you and more about your team and your audience. 
  • Respect, trust, and support are the foundations of Improv. If one those is missing, it all falls apart.
  • Improv is listening, focusing, and adapting.
  • YES! AND is an agreement but not always agreeing. It is listening to what somebody has to say and truly listening to them as you are willing to change.
  • The ultimate YES is a sunrise. It is hope. It is an inspiration. AND means having more opportunities. YES is today, and AND is what you are going to make out of it. 
  • Walk away from your inner critic. Put duct tape on it! The inner critic is there to protect you, but sometimes it doesn’t know when to stop. 
  • We are human beings and we all make mistakes. We make mistakes because we think things through. We just have to be vulnerable and own up to it.
  • Vulnerability is not a detriment but a strength in leadership. The more vulnerable we can be, the more collaborative and inclusive our teams will be, and the more we can create a psychologically safe workplace culture.
  • Improv teaches us to respect everybody. It takes a lot to trust someone, but if you can be trustworthy, they will be trustworthy too. 
  • Improv leadership is the exact opposite of ego leadership.
  • No one can ever multi-task. You can only pick on bits and pieces. Multi-tasking is a distraction. It doesn’t let you focus on one thing. People who think they can multi-task often end up working 12-14 hours because they are juggling too many things.
  • You get more done when you focus on one thing at a time. It’s all about how you manage distractions. 
  • Don’t be distracted when delivering a presentation. Be in the room with your audience. Notice if they are sending you body language that tells you they’re not connected. Get away from the data and start telling some stories to re-engage them. 
  • There is no such thing as a perfect presentation. It’s important to know your material really well but it’s also important to know that something just might go wrong. 
  • 9x out 10, you’re the only one who knows you’ve made a mistake, so just let it go.
  • When you get too scripted, you often lose your place at times. If you ever forget your lines, just pause for a moment and take a deep breath. 
  • Stay sharp. Be nervous but don’t be scared.
  • Don’t be afraid of the camera when doing a virtual presentation. Keep your passion going and really work with your mind. Use your body language and tone of voice to keep your audience engaged.
  • It all comes down to mindset. You need to be passionate and excited about what you’re doing, no matter what the topic is, and be able to communicate that through the lens, so that they can lean in and be interested in what you’re saying. 
  • Being monotone and robotic, turns the audience off.
  • Make sure you have a good microphone and camera, and a really strong internet connection.
  • Your job is to inform and engage. If you can’t get energy from your audience, you have to generate it yourself.
The ultimate YES is a sunrise. It is hope. It is an inspiration. AND means having more opportunities. YES is today and AND is what you are going to make out of it. @PMargaritis on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Peter’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Know that you are creative. Just start coming up with ideas. Bad ideas are bridges to good ideas. No ideas lead to nothing.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Allow yourself to feel that you are creative. Let your ideas come out and give them oxygen. Don’t be afraid to fail. FAIL is an acronym that stands for “First Attempt In Learning”. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Google and YouTube
  4. Keep project/client on track –  Set expectations and don’t micro-manage them. Touch base regularly. Hold them accountable but don’t smother them. 
  5. Differentiate – Don’t look like everybody else. We are all unique in our own way. Embrace your uniqueness. Embrace that stuff that makes you different from everybody else. 

To Be a Leader

We are all improvisers. Think about improvisation in the most strategic way in your business and personal life. We all have to adapt and change. There is no script for that. We just have to learn, do, and seek. Keep listening and subscribe to this podcast because it’s well worth the investment of your time.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Peter through his website.

Suggested Guest

Peter suggested we have a conversation with Business coach, nationally recognized speaker, and best-selling author, Jennifer Elder, sales communication strategist, Michael Sherlock, and Author, Award-Winning Coach, Kon Apostolopoulos. So Jennifer, Michael, and Kon, keep an eye on your inboxes for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Peter Margaritis.



Cool Things About Peter

  • He’s an accidental accountant, who has held several leadership roles — the most prominent one was as Chairman of the Ohio Society of CPAs Executive Board.
  • He’s Greek American.
  • He’s an eSpeaker Certified Virtual Presenter and Immediate Past President & Treasurer of the National Speakers Association, Ohio Chapter.
Don't be afraid to fail. FAIL is an acronym that stands for "First Attempt In Learning". If you don't fail, you don't learn. @PMargaritis on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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