Impromptu speaking is a speech where an individual delivers without any mere preparations. The speaker is only provided with a topic that can be a person, proverb, an object or any alternatives.
What’s in it for me
- What is Impromptu speaking
- Getting ready for Impromptu speeches
- How Impromptu speaking is connected to leadership
- Tips on how to improve Impromptu speeches
- How to practice Impromptu speaking on your own
- How to structure your Impromptu speeches
What is impromptu speaking?
A random topic is given to a person where the person is given only some minutes to think upon and is expected to speak relevantly for a specific duration. Normally the time duration may vary to 2-7 minutes only. It’s highly important to master impromptu speaking to get into corporate and even in B-schools.
This exercise or practicing impromptu does two things :-
a) Proves that the speakers are speaking confidently.
b) This experience makes them much more secure when they are giving their prepared talks.
People are genuinely afraid of this and they loose their ability to think quickly and swiftly at that point of time that is why they are not able to provide the right answers.
It is generally required during interviews, during appraisals, meetups, meeting and get together. It is also used to get rid of problems in different situation as a team, salary negotiations, viva where there is required to speak real quick.
Getting ready for Impromptu speeches
When you are called on to speak without preparation usually you are expected to make some remarks about a subject upon which you have authority.
The main problem here is that you have to face the situation and also at the same time decide what exactly you want to cover in the short time period.
The best way to prepare in such situations is to prepare yourself mentally to adapt in this situation. When you are in any such situation, where you may have to speak, ask yourself constantly in your head what you would say now if you were called upon? What aspect of your subject knowledge would be most appropriate to cover at this time?
So condition yourself mentally to speak impromptu in all occasions. This includes thinking and thinking at that particular time is the most hardest thing in the world to do.
Just like a pilot readies himself to act in situations of emergencies, the man who excels as an impromptu prepares himself by making end number of situations and talks that are never given before. As an impromptu speaker, you will have to naturally speak for only a short period of time.
Don’t ever feel sorry just because you’re unprepared. Start into your topic as soon as possible, if not immediately.
How Impromptu speaking is connected to leadership?
Impromptu speaking abilities is one of the most skillful, critical and also most feared skills. But the lack of this skill can really impact how to manage and lead a team efficiently.
A leader is someone who deals with a hope that needs to be able to paint the picture and motivate the team members about how to do a specific task in the best manner possible. He is someone who guides a team or an organisation where they are going.
The number one quality of a leader is vision, to be able to create that vision, to have that clarity of what the vision is and the ability to communicate that vision to your team consistently on a continuous basis.
How, when and what does it look like are the most important questions that should be very clear. A high performing team has a high performing leader. When your vision is clear, your intention and your mission is clear.
Detailed overview- How LEADERSHIP is connected to Impromptu Speaking. Read here.
1. Impromptu speaking allows them to share what they have to say and what they expect from others.
2. To be able to achieve professional success a leader must be effective and convincing speakers.
3. Better communication skills helps to develop better understanding of people’s mind and their belief system so as to inspire them and to make them follow the principles which their leader wants them to have.
4. Great leaders who are good at this skill have the ability to connect the passions and goals while communicating their ideas with others.
5. They are the people who have the most beautiful quality of listening peacefully as to what others are saying.
6. By interacting more effectively with the team, a leader increases his potential and is also able to get the work done by members of his team.
7. They make sure that they are heard and understood properly by their team members.
Tips on how to improve Impromptu speeches
Learn a lot of quotations this is very essential when you don’t have much knowledge on the given topic. Irrespective of what topic might be given to you, if you have learnt a lot of quotations you would be able to relate and speak. This has 3 basic benefits :-
- You seem to look like a confident person.
- People would assume you to be an interesting person.
- Most importantly, you have more 10-15 seconds to think what you have to speak next.
Starting with a fact or a number of facts helps you to give more 3-4 more semi-topics on which you can speak and elaborate upon.
In case you really don’t have very much knowledge about what to speak start by giving a situation to your audience that way you can get ideas upon what to speak.
3. Repetition is the only way to succeed-
In order to improve at this skill, practicing is the only way to go.
Just because you have to say something don’t go on and on. There will always be things which you are not aware of. Avoid the tendency to go on forever.
4. Go easy on yourself-
Never have the burden in your mind to speak more and more. Once you feel you have made your point no need to go on forever for the sake of speaking.
5. Fumbling is okay-
Lastly, it is okay to fumble. No one is perfect, you’re always better than the people who are not trying.
6. Be truthful-
Always speak the truth no matter what goes wrong. If you try to pretend something that is false, you’ll fall into trap. People will always know that you’re faking it.
How to practice Impromptu speaking on your own?
Some people say you can’t prepare impromptu speech. But the thing is this statement is very little true and more false. It is true because you never know what type of situation you may face and how you are going to react.
The statement is very much false because we can train our muscle to think on the spot. But how are you going to do this?
1.Practice, practice and practice–
Take a random topic from anywhere or any scenario and speak unprepared. Do this more often with wide varieties of topics. If you don’t have any idea what topics you can practice, take any of the topics and list down all the topics that come to your mind.
If you think you have practiced enough and you have no more topics to practice, google it. You’ll be surprised to see there are a lot of topics that you were not aware of.
That’s right record yourself whenever possible that may include when you speak to yourself or when you practice and even when you are at public places. Listen to it, analyse it and identify wherever you are wrong. Make sure to keep that in mind when you speak next. Video record yourself and apply the same technique.
3.Practice out loud –
Practicing loudly ensures that you are present and are aware of what you are speaking.
Whenever possible practice in front of a mirror to know your hand movements, posture and eye movements.
How to structure your Impromptu speeches?
Structuring you impromptu speech is the key. You need to make sure that when you deliver your ideas and your points it must be clear and loud to the audience.
Your audience should not get confused only then you will earn more credibility. It must be clear as to how and why it supports the topic or the situation.
Some powerful techniques that most of the successful speakers use are as follows-
1. S.E.P.C Technique- State it, Explain it, Prove it and Conclude it-
When you are starting your topic, give a statement. You should speak this at a lower pace. You can also make a pause before and after the statement. Then explain the statement to make your audience understand you point.
Give your audiences time to process the explanation. It proves how the explanation relates. When concluding, walk them out of the point.
2. P.R.E.P Method- Point, Reason, Example, point-
Give a point, Give a reason supporting the point, Follow it by an example, Again follow it up by another point.
The secret sauce to successful Impromptu speech is to link it with your personal experience. Most speeches that you hear are the result of careful planning, revision and practice. Following basic principles included above like- structuring of the speech, staying calm and composed, and ability to think on your feet can make you a good Impromptu speaker. Be careful not to offend your audience. Your audience will be able to tell if you’re emotionless. Whatever your topic may be treat it with passion and interest.