Home » Blog » No time to pre­pare? 4 tips for your next impromptu speech!

No time to pre­pare? 4 tips for your next impromptu speech!

Feb 28, 2023 | Public Speaking

Have you ever found your­self in a sit­u­a­tion where you had to give an impromptu speech, but your mind went blank, and you couldn’t think of any­thing to say? Giving an impromptu speech can be a scary expe­ri­ence that many people dread. How­ever, with a bit of prac­tice and the right tech­niques, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn how to give an impres­sive impromptu speech at the next wed­ding or busi­ness dinner.

There’s nothing that beats real-life prac­tice, but the fol­lowing tips can help you become more con­fi­dent with impromptu speaking.

#1: Keep it simple – Keep it short

Impromptu speeches are not the time to show off your vocab­u­lary or use com­plex sen­tences. Keep your mes­sage clear and con­cise. Stick to one or two key points, and make sure you deliver them in a straight­for­ward manner. Don’t worry about being elo­quent; focus on being understood.

Besides of keeping your speech simple, try to make it as short as nec­es­sary. Spon­ta­neous speeches mean that you and your audi­ence aren’t really pre­pared for your speech and are being inter­rupted from doing some­thing entirely dif­ferent. Maybe they finally want to start enjoying the wed­ding cake or tell their far-away-living rel­a­tives about their last hol­iday trip.

#2: A strong opening

The first few sec­onds of your speech are cru­cial for cap­turing your audi­ence’s atten­tion and making them want to hear more. You can use a joke, a quote, a per­sonal story, or a sur­prising fact to grab their attention.

For a wed­ding sce­nario, con­sider starting with a quote from the bride or groom. Alter­na­tively, you could begin with an inter­esting fact about mar­ried life in gen­eral. Inter­esting quotes and facts to open a speech is a good thing to carry around with at all times.
But a strong opening does not get you very far if after that you don’t know where to go with your speech. Here might come in the ending very handy.

#3: Start with the end in mind

Daniel Kah­neman, a Nobel Prize-win­ning psy­chol­o­gist, found that people remember expe­ri­ences based on two things: the peak and the end. The peak is the most intense part of the expe­ri­ence, and the end is the last part. This means that if you want your speech to be mem­o­rable, you need to make sure that the end is strong.

Knowing in advance how your speech could end gives you also guid­ance. You have a clear goal and it gives you much more con­trol over your story. It’s a lot harder to get off track when knowing where to go.

But what actu­ally is con­sid­ered a “strong” ending? The degree of how strong an ending is, is very sub­jec­tive. I would call a strong ending simply an ending that is con­sid­ered to be an ending.
Have you found your­self starting to clap, when a per­for­mance or a speech wasn’t over yet? Some­thing about the per­formers’ com­mu­ni­ca­tion gave you the impres­sion that the per­for­mance was fin­ished. It might have been, that the story felt com­plete, the speaker acci­den­tally said “Thank you” or a too long pause gave a wrong signal. It’s impor­tant that we have full con­trol over when and how we want our speech to end.

To not fall into the trap of acci­den­tally closing your speech, here are common ways to end it:

  1. Call to Action: End the speech by calling on the audi­ence to take action or make a change. This could be a request to sup­port a cause, vol­un­teer, or make a change in their own lives.
  2. Sum­mary: Sum­ma­rize the key points of the speech, high­lighting the most impor­tant ideas and take­aways for the audience.
  3. Inspi­ra­tional Quote: End the speech with a pow­erful quote that sum­ma­rizes the mes­sage of the speech and leaves a lasting impres­sion on the audience.
  4. Per­sonal Story: Share a per­sonal story or anec­dote that relates to the theme of the speech, and use it to drive home the main point or mes­sage of the speech.
  5. Thank You: End the speech with a heart­felt thank you to the audi­ence for their time and atten­tion, and express grat­i­tude for the oppor­tu­nity to speak to them.

#4: Prac­tice

You can read all day long about how to get better impromptu speaking, but you have to prac­tice it. One of the best ways to prac­tice impromptu speaking is to take advan­tage of everyday sit­u­a­tions where you can prac­tice your skills. For example, try telling a story at a dinner party or giving a toast at a friend’s wed­ding. You can also prac­tice impro­vi­sa­tion exer­cises, such as word asso­ci­a­tion or telling a story based on a random object.

Check out if there are any Toast­mas­ters clubs in your area. Joining these clubs is amazing for get­ting more com­fort­able with speaking in front of an audience.

Or try out our free random impromptu speech topic gen­er­ator called STAGE TOPICS. It chal­lenges you with random topics and a fixed time frame.

The more you prac­tice, the more com­fort­able and con­fi­dent you will become with impromptu speaking.

In con­clu­sion, giving impromptu speeches may be stressful, but it’s a skill that can be learned with prac­tice. By keeping your speech simple and short, starting with a strong opening, keeping the end in mind, and prac­tising, you can become more con­fi­dent and com­fort­able with impromptu speaking.

Thank you for reading.

More articles

What is your opinion?

Before you post a comment, please read our Privacy Policy, so you know what is happening with your data.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles