Dollars and Sense: Be prepared for impromptu speeches

Delivering effective speeches and presentations is seemingly easy for some people and absolutely terrifying to others.

The ability to speak effectively has helped many a person advance their career while the lack of this skill has short-circuited numerous promising careers. Of particular importance in the business world is the ability to deliver a short, unplanned impromptu talk.

Adroitly handling the last minute, &8220;would you mind saying a few words to the team&8221; is a skill that can be developed with practice and preparation. Here are a few tips that can help you increase your confidence and enhance your skills when encountering the impromptu speaking opportunity.

-Have a friend or family member write down a subject on a piece of paper and hand it to you. Then quickly deliver a 60 to 90 second talk on the subject. This process will help you learn to quickly gather and organize your thoughts. Repeat this process regularly and you are guaranteed to grow your confidence and your ability to assemble intelligent remarks rapidly.

-Prepare mentally for the impromptu speech. While attending business meetings, think about what you would talk about if you were suddenly called upon to make some brief remarks to close the meeting. If possible, make a few notes and review them later to help you think through how you would have responded.

-Build a mental library of human interest type stories suitable for various audiences. If you can recall such stories when you are asked to speak without having time to prepare remarks, you have the opportunity to skillfully gain the attention of the audience while ensuring a smooth start.

-Show plenty of energy and enthusiasm when you start talking. Not only will you command the attention of the audience, you will also better position yourself mentally to &8220;think quickly on your feet.&8221;

Use these methods and techniques to build your impromptu speaking skills so that the next time you are asked to, &8220;say a few words,&8221; you will be ready to do just that in a confident and masterful fashion