Improvising, a crucial skill every good DM needs to be successful.However if you are forced to do it too much…you may not be as prepared as you should be. How do you set up your game to give players the freedom they need to have fun, without them feeling like they are stuck on some linear path.
Know your players!
I cannot stress this enough, really get to know the people you’re playing with. Odds are they are people you’ve known for a long time. Even so, you must know who you are playing with.their temperament, sense of humor etc.This also means knowing their characters, and getting them to play in character can be a very difficult enterprise…but that’s a different blog post.
If you are having trouble with improvising, or just want to absorb some skills that could help you be a better DM, I recommend watching shows like Critical Role, Drunks and Dragons, and Adventure Zone. remember, you are not these people, you never will be. But you can absolutely learn from them.