Learn about the most common forms of speaking moments you will encounter, including the two common forms of impromptu speaking. Learn why impromptu speaking remains so popular and important to your career.
- There are several types of common speaking events that you might encounter. For example, let's think about scripted speeches. This is a speech that is prepared ahead of time, completely written out, and at the event, you're reading from pages or a teleprompter. You'll see executives do this sometimes and also graduation speakers. Some people love the security of the written word, so this form of speech isn't going anywhere. Next is a variation we call extemporaneous speech.
This refers to a talk one might give that is completely scripted in preparation, but then during delivery, the speaker only relies on a few notes to keep them going. For what it's worth, my advice is that it's best not to show up in front of a group to give a formal speech while holding notes if you can avoid it. Memorized speech is yet another form. Typically this is scripted, but then practiced orally only referencing the written word as needed, until finally you don't need the script at all.
Last but not least, we have impromptu speaking. There are really two kinds. The first I call short-notice talks. In this case, you've been unexpectedly asked to speak with only a few minutes or maybe a few hours to prepare. This, of course, tends to make people nervous. The only thing worse is the other form of impromptu speaking which involves no preparation at all. For example, the boss just called you. She's stuck in traffic and you have to go make the pitch to the client who's waiting in the conference room.
Unfortunately, your boss likes to ad lib and rarely uses slides, so she can't send you anything. You just have to walk in, look at the client, and begin speaking. Interest in understanding this type of communication has grown significantly over the years. We are witnessing the continued popularity of impromptu speaking competitions at schools and universities around the world. For working adults, we see the enduring success of the Toast Masters organization. No matter what your skill level, Toast Masters is a safe and very productive resource you might want to explore.
Finally, we've seen a recent explosion in digital, on-demand training focused on aspects of communication, including impromptu speaking, such as the course you're watching right now. The skill of unplanned or impromptu speaking has been popular in different ways for many years. In fact, the more we learn about success at work, the more we know that your ability to communicate in an impromptu manner is vital and it's a skill that's within your reach.
- Identify why a facility for impromptu speaking is important for managers.
- Explore examples of impromptu speaking both at work and outside work.
- Review two strategies for buying time when called on unexpectedly to speak.
- Recognize the mannerisms that make impromptu speaking more effective.
- Explore effective responses when faced with special circumstances like technical questions.