You’re called upon to say a few words
What do you?
Freeze and mumble.
Give the opportunity to someone else whom you
know will do it better.
Or do you graciously accept and rising to you
feet, deliver an effective impromptu speech.
Obviously most of us would like to be fluent,
engaging and intelligently articulate in an
instant. While that may be true for some, it
isn’t for many. However the ability to almost
immediately summon up a well-crafted speech from
thin air can be learnt. With confidence arising
from the practice of a few simple skills you’ll
soon be an accomplished impromptu speaker
whatever the occasion.
to memory any or all of the following speech
All successful speeches adhere to a logical
predictable pattern. They open with a main idea,
develop it in the body and then in the
conclusion, summarize it. The basic three-part
structure seldom varies. What does however is
the nature of
that triple construction.
Past, Present, Future.
In this model, you talk about what happened
in the Past,
what is happening in the Present and
what will happen in the Future.
the past we
tried to solve the problems of waste management
with rubbish dumps on the outskirts of our
realize this type of solution is not a solution
at all. With the pressure of growing
populations, it is creating more and more
problems. We have contaminated our soil and
water systems. Dumping is unsustainable and no
The future will
see a zero tolerance for such practices. How do
we get there?
Cause, Effect, Remedy
Example: The cause of
the challenge facing us today is…
The net effect is…
The range of possible solutions
or remedies are…
Point, Reason, Example, Point…
Example: The point I
wish to make is that impromptu speaking is
The reason being,
that patterns or structures of organizing a
speech are simple to memorize.
Take for example, the
speech I’m giving you now. It is based on a
repeated pattern of Point,
Reason, Example and
then the introduction of the next Point which
in turn will be followed by areason and
then an example.
Before, The Event, Result
Example: Prior to
the birth of my first child I was an expert. I
had read all the books and knew all the answers
there were to know about how to be a mother and
have an independent life as well. No baby was
going to control me.
And then Alice arrived.
as I learned the hard way babies don’t receive
pre-digested reading material through the
umbilical along with everything else. They
arrive with a single purpose agenda and
selfishly, that’s their own.
Your second task as
a successful impromptu speaker is to seize the
day: that is grasp the first good idea occurring
to you and make it the focus of your speech. You
only need one major point around which to build
Once you have it apply the most appropriate
speech organizer or template to expand into a
fully fledged speech.
If you have a few moments notice before you
have to speak use them to make notes. Write down
the headings of the template you’ve decided on
(for example: B, E, R – Before, The Event,
Result or P, R, E, P – Point, Reason, Example,
Point) and jot the key words you need next to
From when you stand to take your place to
address the audience, go slow. There is no need
to rush. Take the time you need to open your
speech calmly and confidently. Having begun,
simply follow the pattern you decided upon.
As with everything else we learn, the first
few attempts at impromptu speaking may feel
risky. Continued practice will soon have the
nerves under control and you’ll be speaking with
fluent ease. Go for it! A birthday speech, a
summary at a business meeting, an impromptu
speech of thanks, a speech as part of a public
meeting or forum…the possibilities and
opportunities for spontaneous unprepared
speeches are endless. Reach out and accept them