90% of your public speaking success happens before you step on stage! Here’s why. [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Marketing and management consultant Somers White once said:
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.”
This is why preparation is crucial for any kind of speech delivery, whether it be impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, or memorized.
Let’s focus on extemporaneous speeches for today’s article…
An extemporaneous speech is a type of speech that relies on research and clear organization. It is neither read nor memorized, thus it has more depth and a higher level of spontaneity.
Many speakers consider an extemporaneous speech as the most ideal speech delivery method because it allows them to prepare, be more natural, and keep the audience engaged.
In this kind of speech, a speaker only has note cards and prompts to guide him or her from one point to another. This makes extemporaneous speeches more conversational, enabling speakers to establish a connection with the audience and assess how well they are understanding the speech as it progresses.
The ability to assess also gives a speaker an opportunity to restate more clearly any idea or concept that listeners seem to have trouble grasping.
For example: You’re delivering a talk about some factors that affect productivity in the workplace and your next cue card prompts you to discuss sleep deprivation.
If you notice your listeners’ eyes glazing over, this could be an indication of their uncertainty about what you mean on the point you’re currently discussing. When this happens, you may temporarily hold off discussing your next point and make an ad-lib to clarify and expand on your current point.
Once you notice that your audience has made sense of your topic, that’s your cue to proceed to your next point.
Below are other scenarios where an extemporaneous speech is commonly used:
- Delivering a church sermon or preaching
- Reporting in a classroom setup
- Extemporaneous acting – This is when an actor practices his or her lines only once before a performance.
- Participating in a debate competition
In these scenarios, speakers are given time to prepare for their topics and make an outline of what they’ll discuss so that even if they don’t have a script, they can still communicate their message effectively.
Here are some tips from publishing company SAGE Publications and consulting firm Handmade Writing when preparing and delivering an extemporaneous speech:
- Speak about something worth saying.
It is not enough to just have an interesting topic. You should also have innovative ideas, up-to-date information, and thoughtful personal opinions.
As you prepare for your speech, think clearly and thoroughly about your message and make sure you know your topic well enough. You don’t necessarily have to be a professional in a certain field to talk about a certain topic. You can talk about any topic for as long as you know the ins and outs of it, and the information you’re relaying to your audience is correct.
- Speak with sincerity.
Insincerity is a surefire way to lose your audience’s attention. There’s nothing worse than looking at your audience and seeing their bored, uninterested faces looking back at you.
So, keep your composure while presenting your extemporaneous speech. Believe that your topic matters and express your sincerity by delivering an impactful and memorable message!
- Speak using your own style.
There is nothing wrong with looking up to veteran speakers and observing what speech delivery method works for them.
However, when it comes to style, you must figure out what’s unique to you as a speaker. This will help your audience remember you and your distinct personality on stage.
- Stick to one presentation structure.
One of the ways to develop your speech is by sticking to a single structure like the SEE structure, which stands for statement, evidence, and emotion.
Make a statement about the topic you want to talk about then provide evidence to support that statement. Then, appeal to your audience’s emotion with an interesting story related to that topic.
It is important to have a presentation structure when delivering a speech. This will prevent you from wasting brain power and enable you to focus on effectively getting your message across.
- Learn your speech by heart.
Extemporaneous speeches are well-prepared speeches but are not memorized. This means the key to succeeding in this type of speech is to know your topic and message by heart.
However, if you’re not comfortable presenting without a guide, you may create an outline of your talk or use index cards to keep you on track. Make sure these cues are easy to follow and include the key points of your speech.
Speaking in front of an audience is nerve-racking, especially if you’re asked to do so without much preparation time. However, knowing what you need to include in your speech and how to present it properly will help calm your nerves.
Keep the tips above in mind the next time you’re asked to deliver an extemporaneous speech!
- Speaking about something worth saying
- Speaking with sincerity
- Speaking using your own style
- Sticking to one presentation structure
- Learning your speech by heart
… you’ll be able to present an effective extemporaneous speech that will leave a lasting, positive impression in your audience’s minds!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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