Impromptu Speaking Strategies

What is Impromptu Speaking?
– Speaking that occurs when you are called on to make a presentation that you have had
little or no time to prepare for.
– You may be called on in class or at work to answer a question or share an opinion.
– You may be inspired to speak at a public meeting, religious gathering, or celebration.
How can I deliver a successful impromptu speech?
– Anticipate the impromptu speaking
– Listening to others’ remarks will enable you to build and form your presentation.
– Have a Ready-to-Use Organizational Pattern
– Try to come up with your main points or at least a central idea that you would
like to focus on before you begin.
– Manage Your Time
– Think ahead to your next point while you are speaking because you can think
faster than you can speak.
– Buy some time to think about what you will be speaking about.
– Pausing sounds professional and gives you a moment to think.
– Paraphrase or restate the question. This gives you time and ensures that
you will answer the appropriate question.
– Try to be brief
-You didn’t have long to prepare, so your audience won’t expect a long speech.
– Don’t apologize
-You might bring attention to something that the audience didn’t notice and it can
also damage your credibility. Just “go with the flow!”
– Have a Positive Attitude
– Try to enjoy the experience because your audience knows that you haven’t had
long to “perfect” your speech.
– Practice Impromptu Speaking
– Practice impromptu speaking about some general topics that may come up in
conversation so that you will already have an idea of what you may like to say.
– Be Passionate
– Use your knowledge and interest in the topic to show the audience how
passionate you are.

Engleberg, Isa & Raimes, Ann. (2004). Pocket Keys for Speakers
Lucas, S.E. (2001) The Art of Public Speaking (pp. 302-303)
Nelson, P., Titsworth, S., & Pearson, J. (2007) Public Speaking A Guide for the Engaged
Communicator (pp. 37, 146-147)
UNCG University Speaking Center, 256-1346, speakingcenter.uncg.edu