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Newsletter July 02
Most of the talking we do on a daily basis is impromptu speaking, and so if we can learn how to assemble knowledge and thoughts on any topic at a moment’s notice, we will benefit by:
- being able to think on our feet
- having greater confidence when giving prepared talks, because we know that if we ‘lose our place’, we can talk intelligently on an impromptu basis for a short while till we’re back on track
- being more skilled in social situations
Be mentally prepared
When you are in a meeting, keep on top of what is going on, and every now and then think ‘What would I say now if called on to give my views? What aspect would I cover? How would I phrase it?’ This will help you be calm and collected when you are called on, because you will have mentally practised many talks you’ve never given.
Take some time to get your ideas together – it gives the impression you are making sure you’ll say something worthwhile.
Start with an example
You can talk about an incident from your life that has a human-interest angle. The advantages are:
- It’s something familiar to you, and it can reassure you when you most need it – during your first few moments
- You won’t have to think so hard about your next sentence as experiences are easy to remember
- You’ll get into the swing of speaking and reduce your nerves
- You’ll get the audience’s attention
If you are externally animated, it has a beneficial effect on your mental processes, as physical activity and the mind are closely related.
If your body is animated, your mind functions at a lively pace.
The best way to improve is to practise regularly. To help you do this, Successful Speaking offers a free Daily Impromptu Topic email service, DITTY, which allows for regular practice. Details of the DITTY service are here