Delivering a prepared speech can be nerve-racking enough, the thought of being put on the spot to give a short speech without any preparation or advance warning can seem to some people like their worst nightmare.

other people cope remarkably well with these situations so what can we learn from them?

Well for a start they know that every speech, even if its a short one or two minute impromptu one, needs a good structure.  A beginning that grabs the audiences attention, an ending which wraps up the speech clearly and a middle which supports the main points.

Another think they know is how important delivery is. not only for winning over the audience, but also for managing their own nerves.  The key is to behave as if you were feeling confident and confidence will come.   So how do you do this.

1) Step up – When asked to speak, smile and step forward confidently

2) Stand – Before you start to speak pause for a second and look out at your audience

3) Smile – It will relax both you and the audience

4) Speak – Begin your speech clearly and confidently.  A good tip is to repeat the question or topic you have been assigned. This buys you a few extra seconds of thinking time and allows you to get your brain in gear.

5) Stay still – Don’t dash off as soon as you have finished speaking. , Stay standing confidently and either enjoy the applause or ask for questions

Ina  later post I’ll give you some sure fire tips for structuring your “on the hoof” speech.

Gavin Meikle
The Presentation Doctor

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