Mark Twain once said that it took him 3 weeks to prepare for an impromptu speech. Obviously, he was just trying to crack a joke. An impromptu speech is a type of speech that provides no time to prepare as the name implies. If you are joining an impromptu speaking competition, you will just be given a question that you have to answer right away. There are a lot of challenges that go with joining this type of competition. Aside from being given no time to prepare, you also have to see to it that your speech will stand out and be hailed as the best at the end of the day. Below are some tips on how you can win this type of competition.
Be familiar with the mechanics
Each impromptu speaking competition is made up of different rules. This includes the way the question is going to be delivered, the amount of time allotted to give a speech, the theme of the questions and many more. Sometimes, it is easier to relax when you know exactly what topics the questions are going to revolve around and how long you have to deliver a speech. Some competitions also give deductions to speakers who violate certain rules. As such, it is best to just stick with it.
Engage with the audience
This is one of the hardest things to do during an impromptu speaking competition. Sometimes, being able to compose what to say instantly is easy, but attracting them to listen is a totally different thing. Therefore, you need to first maintain eye contact with the audience. Make them feel as if you are speaking with them directly. Inject humor every now and then. This will show that you are a witty speaker and you don’t let the nerves get the best of you. You can also morph the question a bit so that it could be more relatable to you especially if you have very limited words to say in response to the question.
Create an organized speech
Though impromptu speech competitions don’t allow speakers to prepare, you can still pause for at least 3 seconds to breathe and think quickly before answering the question. During that short period, you must create some thoughts in your mind so that your final response won’t be messy. If you also know what the theme of the questions are beforehand, you can think of some related quotes or adages so that you can open you speech with it. Just make sure you begin with something witty, followed by a direct response to the question, then elaborate your answer by giving some arguments and then wrap it up with a brief summary. You can end your speech with a question, challenge, or a short anecdote for the audience to think of.
Just be confident
Even the best speakers in the world lose their ability to speak well when they are nervous. During the competition, just think of happy thoughts. Believe in yourself and your capability to win. Think of the audience and judges as your friends who are willing to listen to every word you say. If not, think as if you are alone and that you are free to speak your thoughts out without being judges or criticized.
Winning in impromptu speaking competitions is difficult. Yet, if you put your heart into your speech and you believe that you are going to win it, you will surely do! All the best!