Giving an impromptu speech means delivering a speech when you’re unprepared. You may need to deliver such a speech in different situations, for example, when attending a wedding or another celebration. Quite often, students get an impromptu speech assigned as homework. This task is aimed to help them improve communication skills and to prepare for similar situations in the future. Writers-House.com decided to help you overcome this challenge.
Although an impromptu speech may look like a terrible idea from a student’s perspective, it can prepare students for certain unexpected situations in life.
In the classroom, students are unlikely to be asked to deliver a speech with no warning and no time for preparation. The only exception is if your teacher wants to demonstrate the importance of preparation. Anyway, you may need to deliver an impromptu speech at some point in your life. Great public speakers know these tips:
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Use a napkin or anything that will help you jot down the main ideas.
Acknowledge the fact that you’re not prepared for the speech. It’s a professional way to approach your audience. The main point is not to pity yourself but to establish easy and informal relationships with the audience. Take a few minutes to jot down a simple outline. Your audience can wait, but don’t make them wait for too long.
Jot down the main points and stick with the topic: your speech should be related to the event. If your speech is about a homework assignment, jot down your impression of the task. Was it difficult? What was the hardest or the easiest part of the assignment? Did you have all the necessary information? Did anyone interrupt you?
Here’s a useful tip about speeches: if you start it with an impressive line, then make a pause, and end it with a great punch, the speech will certainly have a strong effect on your audience. Keep in mind that the beginning and the end of your speech are its most important parts.
If there is one particular moment that seems great to you, save it for the ending line. If the end of your speech is good, the overall impression of it will be also great.
You may also hijack the topic. This trick is often used by politicians. Try to predict the following questions and prepare your answers. It will allow you to answer your own questions, regardless of the topic. This trick may be especially useful if you’re getting a tough question to which you don’t have any answers.
You’re in complete control of the whole situation. You should understand it and use it to your advantage. A speech implies providing a one-sided opinion, so relax and talk about what you consider to be interesting. For example, if your little sister distracted you when you were doing your homework, share this story with your audience and make them smile.
Start with an introductory sentence, elaborate on your ideas, and slowly work your way towards the final sentence. Try to provide as many points as you can between the introduction and the ending sentence. Make sure to choose the proper tone and focus on your diction. If you focus on your diction, you won’t get stressed out thinking of all the people watching you because your mind cannot focus on multiple things at once.
What to Do if You Have No Ideas
If you have some time before the speech, you can prepare an outline and write down the key points. Re-read your outline a few times and try to memorize the key ideas. Don’t try to remember everything, just focus on the most important points and memorize the order.
If you suddenly run out of ideas, don’t panic. There are a few simple tips that may help you:
- Pretend that you’re pausing intentionally. You may also walk back and forward, waiting for your audience to get a grasp on your last point.
- There’s always a joker or somebody very popular in your audience. Stare at this person and wait for a response while thinking about your next words.
- To avoid awkward silence, ask your audience a question. For example, you may ask if they hear you well, or just ask if they have any questions.
- You can also make up a reason to take a pause. For example, ask for a glass of water. You’ll be able to come up with a couple of new ideas while somebody is getting you a drink.
As you can see, the main trick is to prepare at least something. Some of these tips may help you, and if they don’t, try your own solutions.
Many people feel very anxious when they need to deliver an impromptu speech. However, if you prepare the key points or questions, you’ll be able to avoid stress.