“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

On occasion we find ourselves in situations where we must speak extemporaneously. It could be a business meeting, a gathering, or an issue of importance to us personally at the city council level. There are ways to be prepared for such moments.

Things You Will Need:

  • Practiced Articulation
  • Anger Control
  • Knowledge of the Subject
  • Self-confidence

Step 1:
Practice articulation daily – When speaking, enunciate so you can be understood. Avoid mumbling and using extra words or pauses like er and ah. If you have a fondness for four letter words, try to eliminate them from your daily speech. This builds your confidence in your ability to speak in a proper manner.

Step 2:
Practice speaking calmly and knowledgeably about a topic – In your daily life, practice keeping calm when people press your hot buttons. The more you practice at home and at work, the better you will become at anger control. When someone hits your hot button, take a deep breath or two before you respond. You may also need to give yourself a slow count of three before your respond. Deep breathing gives oxygen to your brain and is a quick release for rising anger.

Step 3:
Be Prepared and keep Learning – When you put yourself in a situation of a group at a gathering, at work or at a meeting, you should prepare so you will be able to address the subject at hand intelligently. This means putting a little study into your life. As long as we live we should be learning. This is an opportunity to learn whether or not you are called on to speak. When uncomfortable, you can always state that you do not have enough information on this subject to speak knowledgeably.

Step 4:
Exude self-confidence – Self-confidence comes from preparation and knowing you are able to meet the challenge of speaking on a particular subject.

Worst comes to Worst learn to gracefully decline. If you are not prepared, there is no shame in turning the floor over to someone else who is prepared. Of course, if you were asked in advance to speak, then this is not extemporaneous and you should meet your obligation.