As a matter of fact, nothing usually seems that terrible if you are prepared. Wonder how can you prepare for something that you don't know? The answer is: easily. You can always have a 'template' in your head that could help you start speaking before you actually understand what to speak about. This may be very helpful, especially if you are afraid of an audience. This is sort of a reflex: you are unexpectedly asked for a speech and you don't have an idea what to talk about, but you can always use general phrases that will help you calm down and will lead you to the point. Look below at what 'template' can help you in this situation:
- Fell free to let the audience know that this speech is unexpected to you and you haven't prepared to the impromptu speech topics. However, you need to do it in a professional manner. This should not sound like you feel sorry that you need to talk in front of the audience, but it should make the atmosphere easier and more comfortable for you. Excuse yourself for a moment and create a brief outline in your head. This looks like brainstorming, although your time is rather limited.
- Whatever topic you need to talk about, you need to jot down the key points about it. At first, say something concerning the event that serves as a ground of your speech. Tell why you are there, who invited you, tell that you are delighted to stay in front of that audience (even if you don't like it) and extend appreciation to the people who listen to you. If you have a good sense of humor (and other people think that you have it) you may tell a joke or an anecdote. Laughter always relaxes the atmosphere. However, if you are not sure whether you have a good sense of humor or not, this trick is not for you. At the same time, if you started your speech with a funny joke, you are on your halfway to success.
- Remember writing an essay. There is an introductory paragraph, the body and the conclusion. The truth is, impromptu speech topics require quite the same. You need to start with an introductory sentence, explaining the reason why you need to have a speech, then you have to talk some time straight to the point, and, finally you need to express your appreciation of the attention of your listeners.
- Remember focusing on your diction and tone when talking. Even if you are shy or feel unconfidently, your voice has to be pleasant to hear. As for your tone, it shouldn't be too loud like you are screaming for help, but it also shouldn't be too quiet. Moreover, when you think not about what you need to say but about how to say, you will not be that nervous. The point is, your mind cannot think about too many issues simultaneously. Therefore, concentrate on voice, including diction and tone.
High schools often have speech competitions, where a competitor has thirty seconds to choose a topic and five minutes to make up a speech. This speech usually consists of the following parts:
- The introduction. This part includes the statement of the chosen topic, and the outline of the speech.
- The first section.
- The second section.
- The third section.
- The conclusion. This part usually looks like the introduction with the exception that it provides a profound statement (or maybe a lighthearted ending, it depends on the topic itself).
You may use this template when you have a speech because it is universal. However, even in high school speech competitions students often prefer not to follow any kind of format or template and make up an original and interesting speech. Anyway, we also suggest the following: from time to time make an eye-contact with your audience and it will make you more confident; don't be boring and involve your audience into the process, which is useful if you don't want them to get asleep; if you don't know what exactly your topic is about, think of something related to it and talk about it; again, incorporate humor – make people laugh and they will love you that always works.