Handy Tips for Impromptu Speeches

Here’s one post on a special request from a follower. For our company’s recent communicator’s club meeting, we organized for some impromptu speeches. Each of the speakers had their own style. While I cannot say that one spoke better the other, the effect on audience told more than we could gauge. Later, a few wished for us to provide them a handy reference list for such impromptu speeches. Hence this post.

The organizer, Sanjeev Patra, helped me prepare this list:

A good impromptu speech should have these three points:

  • A central idea: The speech should revolve around a theme. This theme, or central idea, should hold your sentences together.
  • A structure: This means that your speech should have a definite start, middle, and end. We encourage speakers to construct their speeches in the PREP format: Point, Rationale, Example, and Point. Begin with a broader definition of your point. Make the introduction emphatic and attention-grabbing. For example, begin with a quote, a question, or a story. Then, give the rationale and its supporting example. Toward the end, state your point again. Make sure you prepare well for the speech, even when you are short of time.
  • A conclusion: Conclude with a summary and a thought.

Here’s what you might consider including in your speech:

  • Personalization: Remember, your speech is your story that has your thoughts. Make sure you include an inspiration; something that made you a better person.
  • KISS: We all know what the expanded form is, but for the sake of clarity, let me share that with you again. Keep it Succinct and Simple. Yes, I know you are thinking, “but, it’s supposed to mean keep it short and sweet.” The word succinct means that your message should be crisp but accurate. So, when you share your story, make sure it is simple, short, and accurate.
  • Suspense: This one is important. On a lot of occasions, speakers end up becoming predictable with their stories; the audience can guess what’s next on the speaker’s list. Have an element of surprise and unpredictability.
  • Friendliness: Even if you don’t know and wish, you pass on the same energy to your audience. So, when you have a negative energy, that is you feel disturbed, unhappy, scared, or unsure, you pass on the same negativity to your audience. On the contrary, your image, as a speaker, should be that of a person who welcomes sharing. Remain positive. Stand straight. Look at all the audiences. If possible, name a few in your conversation. Your positive posture and body language will do half of the job for you.

It is time to rock!

About Suyog Ketkar

He is a certified technical communicator. In more than a decade of professional stints, he has been an enabler of information and has helped readers solve their problems. Though he comes across a lot of discussions that contain information on what and how to write, he thinks writing continues to be an easy-to-do-but-difficult-to-master job. He has spoken at and participated in the STC India Annual Conferences and conducted presentations and sessions on writing. In his work time, he proudly dawns the “enabler” cape. In his non-work time, he dawns many hats including one of a super-busy father. Some of his other involvements include writing blogs and stories on WordPress, Quora, and Medium, and a storybook for children and boring people with poetry and his signature, over-the-top analysis of advertisements.
This entry was posted in Public Speaking, Technical Communication, Writing, in general and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Handy Tips for Impromptu Speeches

  1. Arun says:

    Glad to see the scope is expanding. Keep rocking!

    Liked by 1 person

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