Impromptu speeches are short speeches (5 to 8 minutes in duration) that are delivered with little or without preparation, right on the spot. Despite the lack of preparation, these speeches are strictly assessed by their clarity, persuasiveness, and general fluidity. So, they are a great way to boost your fast thinking, planning, and capacity to choose the right words.
Why Do Impromptu Speeches At All?
Life does not always give us time to prepare thoroughly for a speaking occasion. Wedding, birthday party, formal dinner, business lunch – there are hundreds of occasions when saying right things fast is priceless. By practicing in advance, you spare yourself stress, lack of confidence, and search for words.
Such speeches are often practiced among students in long-standing institutions like Cambridge and Oxford, Yale and Princeton, which promote and support the ages-old skills of public speaking without preparation and with the aim of persuading the diverse populations, both highly and moderately educated. There, it is a tradition that is not questioned.
Across the globe, debates are another occasion to practice such speeches. Toastmaster club, debate clubs, rhetoric clubs all promote this useful skill, so if you can join one, join it. They offer training and competitions to sharpen your skills and to listen to other great speakers. These are places to flex your creative muscle, enrich your vocabulary, and to learn to think systematically even in the shortest time spans.
Technical Side Of The Matter
Usually, preparation time is 1 or 2 minutes, and the speech is supposed to last around 5 minutes (sometimes 8).
In more competitive settings, the preparation allowed may take only 30 seconds, so everything you plan remains in your head only, no time to write anything down. But aim for 1 minute, writing down a few key points and speaking when the signal goes off.
After several rounds of speaking and several attended events, you will become more confident, and the tome pressure will not seem so stressful.
Aiming For The Right Topic
How to decide the topic is right? It should meet several criteria.
- Select the topic you know well and that you enjoy talking about. The more you know about it, the easier you will speak. Even if you did not jot down something important, you would mention it along the way effortlessly just because you know it well. If the topic is personal, it is even better. You can contribute personal comments and insights, and it always sounds impressive.
- Its scope should be limited, or you should know it well enough to feel what can be skipped and what should be mentioned at all costs. Remember that you have 5 minutes only, and you have to persuade or at least try to persuade your audience, not just inform.
- From the previous idea, it flows that the topic needs to be debatable, so you can persuade. Hardly anyone will be interested in listening to the discussion of the Earth rotating around the Sun and the wonderful phenomenon of day and night change.
- You need to provide an introduction and conclusion, so the topic has to include some potential calls to action and background. The background will create a brief introduction, and the call to action will wrap up your speech.
Preparing And Delivering The Speech
When the time starts running, concentrate on your speech and topic only. Nothing should distract you. Usually, you are allowed to bring your own list of topics (without prompts). They are to be typed on separate pieces of paper with nothing else being added (it would be considered cheating). You can bring them with you and select the topic, or you will pull a random topic from the heap on the table.
- Pick a topic according to the mentioned criteria;
- Jot down a key point of introduction;
- Jot down several key points (bullet list) of your arguments plus at least one example;
- Write a key point of a conclusion;
- If you have some more time, decide on opening phrase;
- Add details to your key points.
Now you are ready to speak. If this is an informal club, set your phone in speech record mode and record what you say. In a competition, ask a friend or a teammate to do it for you.
Speak clearly and loudly, with pauses between important points. Use transitions. You may name fewer facts but enrich your speech with comparisons, metaphors, and maybe an anecdote. You have to impress and make people amazed by what you say. It is not a lecture; it is a torch that should make people want following you (or at least not bored to death but listening attentively).
Follow the time and wrap up nicely if it runs out. Do not let the signal interrupt you at half a word. Say thank you to the audience and relax.
After even, listen to the recording. What do you like? What is not that great? What lacks? What is said too often? Do you use too much slang? Do you lack words and stumble all the time? Jot down your observations and work on them in between speech sessions. Practice speaking in such mode at home. With time, you will invest fewer efforts, and the results will surprise you nicely.
Interesting and fresh Impromptu Speech Topics
And now the promised list of topics for easy and interesting impromptu speeches.
- Sustainable fashion is ‘new black.’
- If I were the President…
- Money can’t buy some important things in life.
- My biggest challenge in the future is…
- Saving the planet is saving ourselves.
- Make city streets great for people (not cars) again.
- Can we survive on tech and no art ever?
- Norm is a convention easily replaceable.
- Is a sense of humor necessary for an individual?
- They say learning does not happen in the classroom. But where, then?
- Marketing for children should be supervised and censored, if necessary.
- Do media impact our way of thinking?
- Knowledge and information – are they different from each other?
- Intelligence without morality is ugly.
- ‘Appearances are deceitful’ and ‘dress to impress’ – how we manage to live by two opposite maxims simultaneously.
- Is there a human quality everyone without exception should have?
- The person of your life who impacted you greatly.
- Who of historical personas would you like to meet most of all?
- Is lying the best option sometimes?
- Is money the core of life?
- Do movies really teach us anything?
- What is better: a book or a movie based on it?
- TV/stream service series are the new age novels.
- Should children be still taught hand-writing?
- Should we introduce tech safety and detox classes just like we have PT classes?
- Why is being young so worshipped if adults have more freedom and choices?
- Who is a hero, and how you pinpoint a hero when you see one?
- A layman or average person: good, bad, or neutral definition, and why?
- Is beauty in the eyes of a viewer, or do we accept stereotypes imposed on us?
- Order and some discipline will not hurt anyone.
- Can ill health be really attributed to ill mind?
- Laughter makes you live longer, an apple a day, and other medical tips from the past.
- Should fast-food restaurants mark their products with the same warning and repealing pictures the tobacco manufacturers do?
- Adulting: a derogatory term or a new way to express ever-rising stress and demands pestering people every day?
- Can news ever be presented totally unbiased?
- College is not required for a successful career anymore.
- Can we learn something useful about love from songs?
- The world is a large village today. Should we make it huge again?
- Can everything (without exception) be forgiven?
- Should we attempt and colonize other planets?
- Printed or electronic books?
- One should have either kids or pets, never both.
- Was the Roman Empire the cradle of our modern civilization?
- Playing team sports makes you a better person.
- Comparing a child to other kids sincerely makes him/her better.
- What valuable things/ideas have you learned from your parents?
- Salaries of star football or basketball players are not justified.
- Doping has become widespread today; it is reasonable to make it legal for everyone.
- Do social media impact our self-esteem that much?
- Will computer translation tools fully replace the need to know other languages?
- Can things make people as happy as pleasant experiences?
- What new kinds of sports need to be included in the Olympics?
- If animals could talk, what animal would you like to talk to?
- If I were a boy/girl … (of opposite sex).
- Renting vs. purchasing a house/apartment.
- Should cybersport become a part of the Olympics?
- Distance schooling and homeschooling are new sustainable trends.
- What should the next most important discovery/invention be?
- Men and women are totally equal today.
- The current political system needs an overhaul.
Pick a topic, prepare, and talk. That’s all you have to do. If you have doubts about your skills or need some guidance, let our writers create speeches that will last exactly for the required 5 minutes and sound great. Practice them, write your own one using our templates, and become a great speaker in quite a short time. Debate clubs are waiting to hear you speak. Let’s start right away!