University of Hawai'i Maui Community College Speech Department

Impromptu Speaking 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. . . .?"

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

The Public Speakers' Resources
|Public Speakers' Page | Speech 151 | Speech 251 | Public Speaking Resources|
|Supporting Your Speech | Sample Speeches | Speech Practice | Speaking Tips|
|Speech Anxiety | Team Presentations | Group Communication | Interviewing|
|Using Visual Aids | ESL Links | Anonymous Feedback | Ron St. John|
|The Learning Center | MCC Library | Maui Language Institute|
|Distance Education Academic Support Services|
|The Ho'oulu OnLine (Student Newspaper)|
|The University of Hawai'i at Manoa|

Page Designer: Ron St. John
Copyright 2002 - Ka Leo Kumu
Last Revised: January 16, 2002