Impromptu conversations, be it with your supervisor, colleagues or a client, have become important in today’s business scenario. A brief conversation, today can get you the attention of your supervisor, colleague or prospective client and can do wonders for your career. However, when we are faced with such situations, we tend to get anxious and our speech is often filled with “ums” or you may go completely blank. In such a scenario, it’s important to hone our speaking skills as well as our impromptu speaking skills.
Many people tend to believe that if you are a “born speaker” you will be good at talking spontaneously. However, it is not the case. People, who are generally good at spontaneously speaking, more often than not, prepare for it. Even the word “impromptu” which is derived from the Latin word “in promptu” means “in readiness”. So, here are some ways in which you can prepare yourself to speak spontaneously:
Ask for a moment: Suddenly have a question thrown at you? Or, have you been suddenly asked to speak on something without any prior information? Take a moment before you start speaking to gather yourself and your thoughts about the subject.
Bullet Points: Before you start speaking, develop oral bullet points in your mind about the things you would like to cover.
Frame or structure your thoughts: Come up with a structure before you start speaking. Structure in the sense, what are you going to say and how? What point comes after what point?
Listen Carefully: Best speakers are often best listeners. So, listen carefully to what’s going on as that will help you come up with effective answers on spot as you would have a clear idea what are the other person’s concerns.
Tone and facial expressions: Make sure, while speaking, you make facial expressions and have a normal, calm tone so that the other person is engaged and you are able to deliver your message across.
Practice speaking: One of the best ways to ensure that you are an effective spontaneous speaker, is to practice it. Practice it with friends/family/colleagues, etc, (and not just in front of a mirror) to gauge their reactions to your speech and to get their suggestions & feedback on ways of how you can improve.
Every opportunity you get to speak spontaneously is an opportunity to display your caliber, your thought process, and your reasoning. Keep the move points in mind and practice regularly to capitalize on those opportunities and build your presence as a leader & a thinker.