Impromptu speaking tips on how to handle off the cuff topics as a speaker
We have to deal with off the cuff questions daily – after presentations, when dating and in most social situations. Learning to think on your feet is a great way to increase your confidence as a speaker. Dealing with off-the-cuff questions can be stressful. Use these off the cuff speaking tips to manage your topic.
Impromptu speaking skills also help you think on your feet when doing a presentation and you need to adapt to changing circumstances.
Top impromptu speaking tips (always link what you say to the topic):
- Use analogies – Analogies are a great way to handle difficult topics. e.g. Using the analogy of overcoming a fear of snakes and relating it to a fear of speaking.
- Reframe the question – Change the frame. e.g. when asked about corruption speak about the need for integrity.
- Change the angle – If you were a chair, cat, alien how would you view the world/topic.
- Create dialogue – Relay a conversation e.g. Last week I was talking to my father, he told me about how he met my mother.
- Open with a question or a joke – That topic reminds me of a quote by Albert Einstein “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
- Personal mono-drama – Share a personal dramatic story. “Last week on my way home a taxi cut me off and I nearly drove into a tree. To make things worse it was raining …”
- Make it ridiculous – It was the biggest fish I had ever seen, it could have swallowed the boat in a single gulp.
- Past, present and future – When I was young we only had rotary phones, now we have cell phone, in the future we will probably have implants that share our thoughts.
- On the one hand, and the other hand – On the one hand being tall is great as it’s easy to be noticed in a crowd, other other hand seats on planes are torture.
- Dramatic story – “It was a dark and stormy night, I was standing alone in the parking lot and …”
- Alternate meanings – think of what else the words could mean. Meat (steaks), meet (hi how are you?), meat (hot beefcake)
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