Impromptu Speaking Tips Giving a Speech with Little Preparation What are the benefits of giving impromptu speeches? •Improve your oral expression of thought •Develop your communication skills •Develop confidence in public speaking •Learn to “Think on Your Feet” What to do when asked to give an impromptu speech 1. Listen 2. Prepare 3. Relax 4. Act Confidently 5. Speak slowly and smoothly 6. Focus What to do when asked to give an impromptu speech 1. Listen Listen carefully to the question / speech topic. Make sure you understand the topic. Ask for the question to be repeated. This ensures that you understand it. It also gives you a little more time to prepare. What to do when asked to give an impromptu speech 2. Prepare! What? Impromptu = No Preparation, right? You may be given a short time to collect your thoughts. If not, as you are walking from your seat to the front, use this time to prepare as much as possible. Whatever time you have, use it to prepare an outline. 2. Prepare an opening sentence. Consider repeating the question / topic. You may want to reword it slightly. This shows that you understand the question. It also shows some originality on your part. 2. Prepare an opening sentence. Topic: Should the government regulate cigarette smoking? A possible introduction: “This afternoon, I would like to tell you why I believe the government should regulate cigarette smoking.” 2. Prepare the main points. Depending on: • the topic, • how much time you are given to speak, • and your knowledge of the subject, come up with 2 or 3 main points. Don’t try to think of more than 3 main points. You will probably just overwhelm yourself! 2. Prepare the conclusion. You can briefly restate your main points, and how they support your position on the topic. Should the government regulate cigarette smoking? “So, I believe that due to the negative health effects on individuals – as well as the cost to society – our government should regulate cigarette smoking.” 2. Prepare All of the ideas I have listed under “Prepare” may be more than you can do before or during the speech. So prepare ahead of time, to the extent possible. How? 2. Prepare For example, have a “pre-formulated” conclusion. “So, I believe that due to “fill in main point #1 here” – as well as “fill in main point #2 here” – “fill in restated topic here”. “So, I believe that due to the negative health effects on individuals – as well as the cost to society – our government should regulate cigarette smoking.” 2. Prepare “In conclusion, I think you can see how first, “point #1”, second, “point #2”, and finally, “point #3” all support my position that “restated topic here”. 3. Relax Take 1 or 2 deep breaths before starting to speak. Pause briefly before speaking. Tell yourself that you can be successful. 4. Act Confidently Look at the audience and smile. Stand with good posture. Don’t fidget. Don’t grab onto the lectern. Don’t put your hands in your pockets. 5. Speak Slowly and Smoothly This gives you time to think as you speak. Your audience will be able to listen to you better. This helps you reduce fillers (umms and aahs) 6. Focus Focus on your subject. Be brief. Use the speech techniques you have learned, especially maintaining good eye contact. Remember, an impromtu speech is almost always a persuasive speech. Consequently, the reasons you give in support of your conclusion must be logical and make good sense. It may be difficult to come up with statistics and quotations. But if you can recall some facts or a good analogy, make sure to use them! What to do when asked to give an impromptu speech 1. Listen 2. Prepare 3. Relax 4. Act Confidently 5. Speak Slowly and Smoothly 6. Focus Are there any questions?