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Friday, November 4, 2011


"It takes me three weeks to prepare an impromptu speech." --Mark Twain

Making a speech with little or no preparation is impromtu. That does not mean making it up on the spot. Impromptu speaking is an organized as any other speech. Take time to organizer your thoughts, use the designs/structures/formulas that you would use in any informative, persuasive or other form of speaking, and if needed, jot down a few notes. The key is that there is little or not time for planning and rehearsal.

Impromptu Speech Tips

Impromptu speaking can be mastered if you use some fundamental techniques:
First and foremost, take your time. If you go blank, (which usually happens in transitions)--use the five second stall. You could say something like, "I have often wondered about that," or "I am glad you asked that question." or "Did you ever wonder. . . .?"

Second, talk about something you know and care about. It can be anything or any type of speech as long as it meets the speech time and content requirements as discussed in class.

If you give yourself about five seconds you will always have something to say.

Remember to get our attention and introduce what you will talk about (introduction), talk about your topic (body), summarize what you talked about and leave us with a memorable close (conclusion). Connectives are a great way to keep your speech moving.

Take your time, be creative and have fun.

FUNdamentals of impromptu speaking:
1. State your viewpoint in the early stages and start strong.
2. Choose a specific illustration, experience or example.
3. Don't try to cover too much ground.
4. Absolutely never apologize.
5. Finish conclusively.

"It takes me three weeks to prepare an impromptu speech." --Mark Twain

First posted 10-10-2008


nicole said...

BC 550
Im glad I read this Impromptu now I have a better understanding and a little more confidence for when we have to give our impromptu speech.

Courtney Burk said...

The tips on this blog post are very helpful. I like the 5 second stall fillers. I also feel more confident now about giving an impromptu speech.

Reggie BC550 said...

I love the statement that he needed three weeks for impromptu speaking! That is how I feel!

Shandy said...

The 5 second stall is a great tip! It really does give you a second to get your thoughts together. Thanks for the great advice and tips. It will be very helpful when the time comes.
Shandy Slight
COM 101-550

haley albin said...

Thanks for the advice, I will definatly use it when the time comes to do that speech. I love mark twains quote its pretty funny.

Kyle Efthemes Com 101 said...

Thanks! Seems like really useful advice. I'm going to refer back to this when the speech comes around. Curious why never apologize is on the list though.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Bc550
Glad that this one was posted. Very helpfull

Tanisha Barney said...

I still think impromptu speeches are nervewracking. Unless the topic is completely simple or something. I can never speak in a clear manner without some type of memorization. Seems like I'll have to practice these tips.

Anonymous said...

Van Nguyen, com 101, sec. 116
I have the same feeling like Tanisha. To me, impromtu speeches sound like a beauty contest, when contestants don't know what the question is and have little time to think of an answer, really nervewracking. and to me, 5 seconds are not enough. hope I can survive through this speech.

Iuliia Decker / BC 6003 said...

Nice advice. To make this speech you really need to choose a topic that you interesting in and care about. I think this is 85% of your success.

Anonymous said...

Very helpful information.
Kali COM 6003

Trevino01 said...

This makes a lot of sense. You can't do a speech on something and make up your information on the spot. You must study and comprehend what you need to know to have a good impromptu speech.

Anonymous said...

After reading this I'm afraid I will apologize, although I'm not sure why, and I'm sure I will look like a pageant contestant like an earlier comment. That stresses me out.

Jill Pentkowski

Maura Goldberg 6002 said...

Helpful...will use next week!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully I don't have to use the five second filler, but this was very useful advice.

Jeremy Matul, BC 6003

Berenice said...

thank god, i read this post and now i understand better and useful