All your life…

Fear of impromptu speaking

When I tell people that I’m a member of a Speakers Club at which we give speeches for fun, they look at me as though I’m a few fries short of a happy meal.

When I tell them that some of the speeches are impromptu, they look at me with the eyes of a man who has been to the edge… and looked over.

If public speaking makes people slightly uneasy, then impromptu speaking makes them shake like a rumba dancer in the throes of colic.

It seems that in the hierarchy of Public Speaking fears, impromptu speaking deserves top billing.

“In the speech biz, speaking at a gathering with very little preparation and without the use of notes is called impromptu speaking. In everyday life, it’s often called “hell” and a few other words we can’t print here.
But despite its terrifying reputation, impromptu speaking need not be likened to trial by fire.”

Laura Rozakis, Ph.D.

Sure, impromptu speaking can be scary but there’s a lot you can do to make things easier.
 

Your speech is already written

The first thing to remember is that you are not likely to be asked to give an impromptu speech unless you know about the subject, so you’re already ahead of the game.
The second thing to remember is that your speech is already written!
Don’t believe me?
Here’s a little story to show you what I mean…

A man had just given a speech… it had gone down a storm.
The crowd were on their feet, clapping, shouting, asking for more.
When the applause had died down, the speaker returned to his seat, and the man next to him leant across and said….

“That was the finest speech I’ve ever heard, tell me, how long did it take you to write it?”

And the speaker replied…

“All my life….. all my life.”

He didn’t mean he’d been scribbling this speech all his life,
He meant that your speeches are shaped by your experiences.
Who you are, what you are, what you believe in.

The process of writing your speech is really about organising your thoughts, researching facts and presenting your material in the most eloquent and persuasive way possible.
You know before you start what you want to say.
In truth, your speeches are written… long before you pick up the pen.

When you walk to the front to deliver your impromptu speech, don’t forget, you’ve been preparing for that speech… all your life.

 

Be prepared

Someone once said of Winston Churchill, “Winston has devoted the best years of his life to preparing his impromptu speeches.”

Although it was intended as a putdown, it’s actually a compliment, because smart speakers are always prepared – to speak.

“If you’re going to a meeting where there is the slightest chance that someone might ask you to speak, go the Boy Scout route: Be prepared.
Make some notes about the topic that might come up in the discussion.
Jot down ideas throughout the presentation or panel discussions.”

Laura Rozakis, Ph.D.

Same applies to you, if you’re going to an event and there’s any chance that you will be asked to speak, prepare a few notes.

 

Your speech should have a purpose and a pattern

Your speech may be off-the-cuff, but you should still stick to the rules.

Firstly, your speech must have a purpose.

I don’t think that I’ve ever given a speech whose purpose was anything other than to persuade the audience to my way of thinking.
When you speak to persuade it brings out your passion and enthusiasm. You become alive and animated.
Whatever your subject, speak to persuade.

“The common knowledge divides presentations by various purposes.
Traditionally the big three are speeches to inform, speeches to entertain and speeches to persuade.

The uncommon knowledge is that everything you say involves persuasion.”

Malcolm Kushner

Secondly, your speech must flow logically and be easy to follow… it must have a pattern.

Here’s a simple pattern that you can use for any speech, prepared or impromptu:

  1. Introduction – an attention grabbing opening and an indication of what your speech is about.
  2. Development – three points to explain your argument and back up your point of view.
  3. Conclusion – a summary of your main points, a call to action and a big finish.

As speech patterns go they don’t come easier than this one – use it when you’re under pressure and have minimum time to prepare.
 

Build up a stock of all purpose openings

The beginning is one of the most important parts of your speech; it’s also the time when you’re most nervous.
Make it easy on yourself – put together a list of “all purpose” openings.

Here are a couple to point you in the right direction:

If the audience know you have been asked to give an impromptu speech…
“At the very start, let me just say that we both have something in common.
You don’t know what I’m going to say… and neither do I.”

Robert Orben

My pal used to say, “I know very little about politics / economic / world affairs / cats / dogs / Mr Blobby… and care even less.” But maybe we should care.
Keith Davis
 

Quotes and one-liners are a great source of “all purpose” openings. And they’re easy to remember.
Here are a few to get you started plus an indication of the subjects where they can be used.

  1. They say that change is inevitable… unless it’s from a vending machine.
    (time / the passage of time / changes in society)
  2. Everything is possible… apart from skiing through a revolving door.
    (opportunities / life planning / challenges)
  3. I must admit, whenever I feel the desire to exercise… I lie down until it goes away.
    (keep fit / diet / health / exercise / modern life)
  4. My old boss used to say “There are only two things you need to know about life – Where there’s money there’s corruption and where there’s men and women – there’s hanky panky.” But was he right?
    (money / greed / life / life’s problems / complexity of modern life)
  5. Clint Eastwood playing Harry Callaghan (Dirty Harry) once said to his lieutenant “I like a man who knows his limitations.” So what are your limitations?
    (setting goals / achievement / self imposed limitations)

That should get you started.
Please feel free to use them or better still, put together a list of your own.
 

Practise your impromptu… Join a Speakers Club

ASC_Speakers_Clubs

If you’re a regular visitor to easyP you’ll know that I’m a passionate advocate of Speakers Clubs. They are great places to learn all things Public Speaking related and they even have opportunities for you to practise your impromptu speaking.

The two big Speakers Club organisations are Toastmasters (internationally) and The Association of Speakers Clubs (throughout the UK).

Both offer challenges, which are specific to impromptu speaking:

  1. The impromptu Speech assignment – in this assignment you are given three speech titles and you have ten minutes to choose one of the titles and prepare a six to eight minute speech. The impromptu speech assignment is a bit like ballet… it keeps you on your toes.
  2. Topics – no preparation time at all here, you’re given a topic (a topic can be a word, a phrase, a saying, anything) and you walk to the front and deliver a two or three minute speech complete with introduction, development and conclusion.
    The topics session is often called the fun part of the evening… I’ve never understood why.

Speakers Clubs, a great place to learn the art of Public Speaking, impromptu or otherwise.
What are you waiting for?
Join today!
 

Time to have your say

What do you think?
Are you a little more relaxed about your impromptu speaking?
Do you have an impromptu speech success to share?
Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question or pass on tips of your own?
 

Many many months ago I promised Melanie Kissell over at Solo Mompreneur that I would write a post on impromptu speaking. But then came the summer and my resolve faded in the bright summer sun.

To the indictment for Serious Procrastination, all I can do is hold up my hands and say “Guilty as charged.”

Here it finally is Mel, my sincere apologies and I hope you enjoy it.

 

Credits:
My thanks and gratitude to the following from whose books I have learnt much and quoted often:

Laura Rozakis, Ph.D. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Public Speaking”

Malcolm Kushner “Public Speaking for Dummies”

Tony Carlson “The How of Wow”

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Comments

  1. Keith,

    I’m speechless.

    I can’t recall another moment like this where I’m digging deep to pluck up something pithy to say.

    I’m just so flabbergasted!

    Dumbfounded, really.

    After months and months of begging, pleading, prodding, urging, and let’s be honest … groveling …

    I locked “impromptu” away in a dark, damp, dungeon! I’d given up hope.

    And then I awakened today to the long- awaited fulfillment of your promise — a lesson in impromptu speeches.

    And what a lesson it is!

    You had me at …

    ” … your speeches are shaped by your experiences. Who you are, what you are, what you believe in.”

    I giggled and giggled at …

    “I must admit, whenever I feel the desire to exercise… I lie down until it goes away.” LOL

    And, believe me, I wouldn’t put the “topics” challenge in the same room with anything I’d ever call “fun”. Might be more pleasant to hit my thumb with a hammer in lieu of being handed that challenge. Ouch.

    I’m totally enamored and taken in by this piece and I love every line of it!

    But what I cherish more is a friend who says what he means and means what he says.

    Thank you!
    Mel 🙂
    Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Delivering A Pregnant IdeaMy Profile

  2. I’m a little speechless myself too, Melanie. I kept reading and reading and kept saying ‘Wow! This information is so valuable.’

    It’s clear that while a lot of research went into the post, some of it was as a result of life experiences, and I appreciate the blending of those two sources which made this a post worth keeping to read over several times.

    I like how you explain the importance of having a prepared speech, and that’s something I’m working on as my own Signature Speech so that I’ll always be ready.

    As someone who speaks in front of groups from time to time, I appreciate the value of the points you shared and say well done! Thanks for an excellent post, Keith and Melanie.
    Yvonne A Jones´s last great post ..Small Business Success – What to Tweet on Twitter?My Profile

    • Hey Yvonne!

      I’m especially happy to see you here since I’m aware you signed up for Felicia’s “Signature Speech” course.

      Sounds like you’ve found some golden nuggets here. 🙂

      Not sure what time it is in the UK right now but I have a feeling Keith is asleep. No worries. He’ll chime in.

      Hope you’ll share this one with your followers and take a further peek around easyP — lots of gems to be found here.

      I bugged Keith (for what seems like forever) to do a piece on impromptu speeches.

      Between you, me, and the lamp post …

      He has over delivered!

      Hugs,
      Melanie
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?My Profile

    • Hi Yvonne and welcome to easyP.
      Glad you like the post and please feel free to use anything you find useful.

      That small amount of preparation can make such a difference believe me.

      BTW – hope your signature speech goes well and don’t forget to share it with us.

  3. P.S. Posted on Posterous, Tweeted, Facebook’d, Stumbled, Tumbled, and shared with my LinkedIn groups.

    You really nailed it with this one, Keith!

    Your post is floating around in cyberspace as we speak … impromptu, of course. 😉
    Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?My Profile

  4. Hi Keith,

    Melanie’s telling the truth about sharing your post everywhere. I found it because she posted it on Facebook. Quite a cheerleader you have there (and we all adore her for her wonderful support).

    I’m not a speaker by any stretch of the imagination but there were a few times I was called upon for an impromptu address. I actually am more comfortable with that than having to sweat over it beforehand. If you ask me about any topic I know, well, no problem. If not, I’ll respectfully decline the invitation.

    “All my life”… so true! Anything we have to talk about is brought together through the sum total of our experiences. I LOVE that. Our perspectives and stories are all ours, unique to us.

    You make me want to look into Speakers Clubs! (Or not. LOL)
    Deb Augur´s last great post ..Peace One DayMy Profile

    • Aw, shucks, Deb … you’re making me *blush*

      It’s really easy to be a cheerleader when there’s good work, good writing, and good lessons to be shared. I’m certain you feel the same way. 🙂

      I’m with ya all the way on this …

      “If you ask me about any topic I know, well, no problem.”

      I could chat away the hours on a familiar topic, especially one in which I possess expertise.

      Otherwise …
      I’m toast! And my brain turns to oatmeal. LOL

      I don’t think Keith has a Facebook or Twitter account yet. Want to help me convince him to turn that corner?

      Thanks so much for joining in the conversation!

      Love you,
      Melanie
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?My Profile

    • Hi Debs
      Yes Mel has done a fantastic job, and in my opinion… worth every $ of her enormous fee. LOL

      “I actually am more comfortable with that than having to sweat over it beforehand.”
      I’ll go with that.
      No notes to prevent that all important eye contact with the audience.
      Just you the audience and your wits, or in my case, just me and the audience.

      “You make me want to look into Speakers Clubs!”
      Go for it Debs, I guarantee that you will surprise yourself.

      Thanks for coming over.
      Keith Davis´s last great post ..All your life…My Profile

  5. Keith,

    Unlike Melanie and Yvonne, I am not speechless … I have come to expect nothing less than excellence from you! 😉

    Seriously, a great post. The part about preparing all one’s life is so true. And it reminded me of a great anecdote about Pablo Picasso.

    ——

    Picasso is siting in a small restaurant enjoying a meal with friends. A wealthy woman at another table spots him and decides to get him to do a quick portrait.

    “Mr. Picasso,” she says, “I am a great admirer of yours. I absolutely insist that you do a drawing of me and I won’t take no for an answer.”

    Seeing that she won’t be put off, Picasso gets some paper and a pencil and does a quick sketch of her in 2 or 3 minutes. He hands her the drawing.

    “Beautiful,” she says. “How much do I owe you?

    “It’s no charge, Madam,” Picasso replies.

    “Mr. Picasso, I absolutely insist on paying you for your work!” she says.

    “In that case, Madam, the price is $5,000,” says Picasso.

    “$5,000!” she exclaims. “But it only took you 2 minutes to draw it!”

    Picasso smiles and says, “No, Madam, it took me all my life to draw it.”

    —–

    You’ve pretty well covered the field on impromptu speaking, and I won’t cover the same ground, but let offer two additional ideas.

    1) If you are asked to speak on the spot (and have not anticipated the possibility) then if you can think of a relevant story, that will go a long way to getting you there. A story is like walking through a dark room with a rope to guide you along. As you tell it, you can think about other points make. I found the story approach very helpful when I competed in (and won) the Toastmasters District 59 Table Topics contest.

    2) Read on a regular basis: the newspaper, good Internet sites, classic literature, lists of quotes, etc. The more you know, the more you will be able to draw on when called upon.

    Cheers!

    John
    John Zimmer´s last great post ..Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 100)My Profile

    • Love the Picasso story!

      Many congrats on your speaking award, John — I can easily see why you were the winner!

      Three cheers and two thumbs up on your #2 idea — definitely gets my vote. 🙂
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Quick Happiness Workshop for Increasing Profits at Times of Seeming UncertaintyMy Profile

    • Hi John
      “I found the story approach very helpful when I competed in (and won) the Toastmasters District 59 Table Topics contest.”
      Nice one.
      And in my opinion, that District59 is not an easy district. LOL

      Love the story John and glad you like the post.
      I think that this is the first post where I’ve not stolen the idea from you!

      “Read on a regular basis: the newspaper, good Internet sites, classic literature, lists of quotes, etc. The more you know, the more you will be able to draw on when called upon.”
      Agree totally and if you don’t have any experience of the topic you are given… lie a little, or even a lot.

      I was once given the topic “Ballroom dancing” and I actually persuaded the audience that I could dance.
      I remember using the line…

      “I’m often asked – do you have to be effeminate to enjoy ballroom dancing?
      And I answer – No.
      It helps, but it’s not essential.”

      I’ve already read your post – powerful stuff – I’ll be over later to leave a comment.

      Appreciate you taking the time to come over and leave a super comment.

  6. “A little dab will do ya!”

    I had two friends who used to say that. One is a love gone by and the other is a sister-friend who passed.

    They both ultimately meant the same thing, though each was speaking of something different: all it takes is just a little bit of (whatever) to make you fully satisfied.

    Your article – coming at this time – made me think of that little phrase. I often come to see “what has Keith written” and when I come upon ANY article, I check my coffee cup, kick off the shoes, and settle in … I know it will be satisfying.

    I LOVE impromptu speaking! See, if someone asks me, when it hasn’t been scheduled, somebody really wants to hear what I have to say! And I always have something to say, even if it’s on a completely different topic! LOL

    Following your tips will make me much more prepared. I especially like “build up a stock of all purpose openings.” Keith, you are public speaking KING!

    @Mel You sure picked a doozy for Mr. EasyP to work his magic on. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen you at a loss for words (but you recovered fast!). 🙂
    Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Customer Referral Systems: Automation is Your Secret KeyMy Profile

    • Howdy Vernessa!

      This is a good one …

      ” … I always have something to say, even if it’s on a completely different topic! LOL”

      I agree — Keith is a public speaking KING!

      “A little dab will do ya” brought back memories of the old Brylcreem commercials. 🙂

      Hugs,
      Melanie
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?My Profile

      • I remember those commercials, Melanie! (Wonder if that’s where my friends nabbed the phrase from?)

        Hugs right back at ya! Hey, you’re doing a fine job pinch-hitting while Keith snoozes. Wait until he wakes up … the party begins (anew!)!
        Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Guest Post on Performance Marketing Insider: Bloggers SurveyMy Profile

        • I’m SURE that’s where your friends nabbed that phrase, Vernessa. Heaven knows, I heard it hundreds of times on radio and television. And my dad always had a tube of Brylcreem in the bathroom. 🙂

          ” … you’re doing a fine job pinch-hitting while Keith snoozes.”

          Let’s hope Keith feels the same way when he gets my bill. LOL!
          Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Delivering A Pregnant IdeaMy Profile

      • Steady on Mel
        It’s not that long ago.
        I remember using Brylcreem!

        We all used to go for the Elvis Presley look.

        “Well, it’s one for the money,
        Two for the show,
        Three to get ready,
        Now go, cat, go.”

        It could have been yesterday.

    • Hi Vernessa
      “A little dab will do ya!”
      Thanks for sharing memories about your friends – appreciate that.

      “build up a stock of all purpose openings.”
      One liners, quotes, anything that is easy to remember.
      E.g. As Don King once said… you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

      And Vernessa, if I’m the Public Speaking King… you and Mel are my Queens of the comments.

      So good to see you back.

      • Haha, “queens of comments” what a title! I’d have to defer to Mel on that one. I’ve watched the lady comment her way to a top spot in a contest and take home the bacon. When I do that, I’ll proudly wear the crown. LOL

        You mentioned Elvis above, then I couldn’t get one of his songs outta my head! Since we’re tripping back down memory lane, Brycream was sharing the stage with Dippity-Do, Murray’s Hair Pomade, and Royal Crown. Those were (somebody’s) days! 🙂

        Oh, back to impromptu speaking … D’ya suppose speakers carried little dabs in their pockets so they could tame the hair before “sayin’ a few words”?
        Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Customer Referral Systems: Automation is Your Secret KeyMy Profile

  7. Hey Keith,

    Great article!
    Being able to speak infront of others well is an incredible ability that can make huge differences in your life.

    Being able to do so unprepared is even better.

    I recently watched “The Kings Speech” sine I remembered you mentioned it in a blog post a while back and it was incredible to see how powerfull speech can be.
    Daniel M. Wood´s last great post ..How to Double Your Salary Without Working Harder – Just SmarterMy Profile

    • Good to hear from you Daniel
      “Being able to speak in front of others well is an incredible ability that can make huge differences in your life.”
      You are right there.
      Join your local Toastmasters – you’ll love it.

      “I recently watched The Kings Speech”
      Did you notice the black and white footage of Hitler giving his speeches?
      The shots were included to contrast with the King’s inability to give a speech and bring home how important being able to speak in public is.

      BTW – love your post title “How to Double Your Salary Without Working Harder – Just Smarter”
      I’ll be over later to leave a comment.

  8. Hi Keith,

    Found this post on LinkedIn, where Melanie posted it in the Seminar Marketing: Plan, Promote and Profit from Workshops and Seminars group.

    I have to say, I loved your post, especially preparing the openings and the examples you gave.

    I am a member of Toastmasters and I have never thought about having a list of quotes or openers to draw on during table topics.

    Great idea, and thanks for sharing it!
    Daphne Bousquet, CMP´s last great post ..Sherlock Holmes’ Secret To Marketing SeminarsMy Profile

    • Oooh … I can’t wait to read your Sherlock Holmes post, Daphne!

      Sounds intriguing and the title has me itching to check it out.

      I had no idea you’re a member of your local Toastmasters — that’s awesome! 🙂
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Neighbors Selling To Neighbors: Think That Works?My Profile

    • Welcome to easyP Daphne
      I’m beginning to think that signing up with “Mel K Enterprises Inc.” Was the best thing I ever did. LOL

      “I am a member of Toastmasters and I have never thought about having a list of quotes or openers to draw on during table topics. “
      I was tempted to delve a little deeper into topics but thought that non Speakers Club people would feel a little left out.

      A tip for table topics that I didn’t include…
      Any topic can be started with a question:
      What do you think about…
      Have you ever…
      You know when…

      See if you can set me a topic that I can’t start with a question – go on give it a try.

      The hardest topic I was ever given was…
      “Footprints in the sands of time were never left by anyone sitting down.”!

      That topic was given to me by Mr Bob Wooldridge, so if you are reading this comment Bob… thanks for that.

      Hope you will be a regular on easyP.
      Keith
      Keith Davis´s last great post ..All your life…My Profile

  9. You sure know how to talk the talk Keith and I know that these tips would help anyone who will one day be faced by having to do an impromptu speech. There is every chance that when that happens they will remember this post and it will hold them in good stead.

    But then there are those like me who when faced by something like this something happens that wipes their memory clean of all past experiences including that spectacular post by the remarkable Keith Davis. That something is PANIC!!! 😉
    Sire´s last great post ..CommentLuv Premium Adding To Revenue StreamMy Profile

    • Oh, Sire . . . I can’t imagine “the cool Aussie” experiencing panic! LOL

      You must be talking about someone else, eh?
      Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Can We Talk?My Profile

    • Hi Peter
      I never make fun of the anxiety we all feel when speaking in front of an audience.
      I’ve seen too many people tremble when going out to deliver an impromptu speech to underestimate how fearful some people are.

      We all know that under pressure our memories are not so good….

      “The human brain is a wonderful thing. It starts working the moment you are born, and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.”

      That’s why we need to practice in front of an audience in a safe environment and that’s why I go on and on and on…. about Speakers Clubs.

      Some feedback about you – Peter, The Aussie Blogger, Sire of Wassup Blog:

      Your posts are written almost like speeches – short sharp sentences with chunks of humour throughout and always with a point to make.

      Your posts are conversational and relaxed – just like a good speech.

      From the audio tuts you’ve made – you have an expressive and clear voice and your voice shows no sign of nerves.

      Peter – with a little training at your local Speakers Club, you would deliver a great impromptu speech.

      And that’s no bull.

      Keith

  10. Excellent article Keith. Good advice, interesting anecdotes and very encouraging.
    For many people, they stand up to speak and the anxiety kicks in. Stop, relax and just trust yourself.
    You don’t panic in the pub, neither should you need to with a more formal setting. Trust your abilities and enjoy the outcome. Well done – enjoyed reading it.
    Ian

    • Hi Ian
      Great to hear from you – don’t get many ASC comments over on easyP.

      Hilary let me read your training manuals, thought that they were brilliant.
      Eye catching cover graphics and great content – presented in your own lively no-nonsense style.

      Are you still South East District President?
      Hilary is Midlands Immediate Past President.

      What’s happening over at Chaucer Speakers Club and the other London Clubs?
      Let’s have a little gossip. LOL

      Thanks for coming over and leaving a super comment.
      Keep in touch.

      Keith

  11. Hi Keith,
    I hope your article helps people to relax and approach public speaking as a valuable tool that they should consider adding to their repertoire.

    Years ago, I mastered the skill of public speaking and I am so grateful that I took the challenge. It’s amazing how much brand awareness you can build by guest speaking or teaching a class. To me, the trick is to make eye contact with a few friendly faces scattered through the room. Of course, the key to this is practice.

    Nice post! I tweeted it for you and am sharing it but I don’t know your Twitter Id! I would like to have given you credit.
    Sherryl Perry´s last great post ..Will CommentLuv Premium Make Your Blogging Life Easier?My Profile

    • Hey Sherryl welcome back – not seen you in ages.

      “To me, the trick is to make eye contact with a few friendly faces scattered through the room.”
      Great tip, and as you say, look for the friendly faces.

      “…I don’t know your Twitter Id!”
      Confession time Sherryl – I don’t use Twitter!
      Hope that I’ve not lost all my street cred.

      Great to see you back.
      Keith

      • You don’t use Twitter! My goodness. LOL – You must be one of the last. – Just kidding. I use it a lot. It’s my #1 source of referral traffic. I think I depend on it a little too much to remind me of what blogs I haven’t visited lately. I promise to not be away so long next time.
        Sherryl Perry´s last great post ..As a Sole Proprietor or Entrepreneur Where Do You Turn for Support?My Profile

        • That’s the spirit, Sherryl!

          I’m a big fan of Twitter, too, but I’d much prefer to interact and have fun connecting with fellow (and favorite!) bloggers.

          Of course, reading blogs and posting comments takes a lot more time and energy than almost any other social media venue. But I feel it’s a tradeoff with a payoff. 🙂
          Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Flushing Blog Posts Down The ToiletMy Profile

          • Hey Mel
            I thought that you were in bed with flu!
            I was hoping that I would get away with confessing that I don’t Twitter.
            No such luck.

            Are you back in the land of the living?

            When I have flu I’m out for three days, but eh… I’m only a man. LOL

        • Hi Sherryl
          Sorry to shock you.
          Im beginning to feel like a bit of a pariah.

          “I promise to not be away so long next time.”
          Now that does sound like good news.

          BTW – anyone interested in the latest version of CommentLuv should nip over and read Sherryl’s latest post.
          Best summary of CommentLuv features that I’ve read.
          Just click this link.. http://keepupwiththeweb.com/will-commentluv-premium-make-your-blogging-life-easier/

          • Hi Keith,

            I’m feeling a tad better today — probably because I got more than four straight hours of sleep last night. That’s a record for me!

            I haven’t read Sherryl’s Commentluv piece yet but I just popped over to her blog to read about where entrepreneurs turn for support. Her readers had a lot to say. Good stuff!

            Over the years, I have compiled a list of wonderful, trustworthy, and “dependable” people I can go to for help (and they know I have a strong conviction about “reciprocity”). 🙂

            I have a hunch you’ve figured out who you can depend on and turn to for assistance on the net, as well.
            Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..15 Truths Entrepreneurs Would Like To Bury In A Deep HoleMy Profile

          • Hi Mel

            “I’m feeling a tad better today…”
            That’s good.

            “I have a hunch you’ve figured out who you can depend on and turn to for assistance on the net, as well.”
            Oh yes – took me a little time, but I got there in the end.

        • Hey Sherryl,

          I almost jumped in here to tell you that little secret (not a secret at all). 🙂
          Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Beta, Beater, CommentLuv (Premium) is Sweeter!My Profile

          • Hi Vernessa
            I think that you, Sherryl and Sire have all written articles on the latest CommentLuv plugin, but you have the most memorable line…

            “…bet you don’t get to hear about the sexy subject of BETA TESTING, do ya?”

            You could be right. LOL
            Keith Davis´s last great post ..All your life…My Profile

  12. Keith
    I have seen you give more topics or impromptu speeches that I care to remember and I have to say that you are one of the best, if not THE best (barring the odd National champion or two) that I have ever seen.
    Cynics amongst your readers may claim that I am biased………. but the ASC teaches us to be fair in our evaluations to all members whether we are commenting upon friends, relatives or enemies, so I refute that claim!

    One of your strengths is the slow walk to the front, with a steady, measured pace – one can almost hear the cogs whirring into action as you consider the topic that you have been set. You slowly turn to face your audience, address the Chairman and then beam at us all before delivering your contribution.
    Invariably that contribution is the topic of the night and has won you many a competition.

    Stand out topics have been the one in which you danced a little around the lectern – the given title was I think Ballroom Dancing through to the one in which you certainly used one of your recommended openings – Clint Eastwood playing Harry Callaghan (Dirty Harry) once said to his lieutenant “I like a man who knows his limitations.”– I remember wondering how on earth you remembered this quote under pressure.

    Dear easyP readers – listen and learn from Keith – he surely does know what he is doing.
    From a biased fellow club member!

    • Hi Hillers
      Yes I think that you’ve seen most of my topics and impromptu speeches.
      You deserve a medal for sitting through them.

      “…the one in which you danced a little around the lectern…”
      Oh yes, I remember that topic… my guess is that I’d taken drink. LOL

      “..address the Chairman and then beam at us all before delivering your contribution.”
      The secret to the beaming smile is to smile at the chairman, who is usually someone you know, and then you are already smiling when you turn to face the audience.

      “…you are one of the best, if not THE best I have ever seen.”
      You may well think that, I couldn’t possibly comment. LOL

      The truth is Hillers that although the Prepared Speech is considered the Blue Ribbon event of the ASC competitions, I’ve always prefered topics and impromptu speeches – that’s just the way my brain works.

      Can’t thank you enough for your generous comment.

      BTW – yes… you are definitely biased.

    • “Dear easyP readers – listen and learn from Keith – he surely does know what he is doing.”

      Delightful to see one of Keith’s fellow club members here extending kudos and showing support, Hilary! Maybe you can encourage a few more members to stop by. 🙂

      BIG fan of easyP,
      Melanie
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Quick Happiness Workshop for Increasing Profits at Times of Seeming UncertaintyMy Profile

    • You may be “biased”, Hillary, (and rightfully so!) …
      But you speak the truth. 🙂
      Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Does Your Logo Measure Up?My Profile

  13. Wow! You really make this sound doable, Keith! =) I especially love your discussion of all-purpose openings! The most effective ones seem to express a sense of humor or call on emotion. I guess the same can be said of public speaking in general.

    It’s also really comforting to remind myself that I’m often the expert on the topic that I’ll be called on to speak about. If someone asked me about living in Peru for example, I can tame the nerves by reminding myself that I live here and that I have at least three major pieces of useful information to share. As long as I have the intro, development and conclusion in place, my speech shouldn’t be too ridiculous. =P

    Thanks for the encouragement, friend! =)
    Samantha Bangayan´s last great post ..Conquer Self-Doubt with Reminders of the PastMy Profile

    • Sam you have returned – brilliant.

      “You really make this sound doable, Keith!”
      Everything I post on easyP is doable Sam – I know because I’ve done it.

      “It’s also really comforting to remind myself that I’m often the expert on the topic that I’ll be called on to speak about.”
      If I told you that you had ten minutes to prepare a twenty minute talk on… Peru, you could do it easy.
      Actually, having read a few of you posts, I might be able to do it but not easy. LOL

      “…intro, development and conclusion …”
      You sound like a pro already.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Always a treat to see your beaming avatar.
      I can never resist beaming back.

  14. I like the “all my life” + “be prepared” … that’s a power-packed combo.

  15. I have a friend whose mother is quite verbose. She was sitting in audience in a small group where the speaker didn’t show up.
    The organizer approached her, asking her if she’d get up and speak to the group. My friend laughed in telling me the story because such a proposition would terrify many people.
    Unfazed, my friend’s mom simply stood up and asked, “How much time have I got?”
    Randy Cantrell´s last great post ..Episode 102 – What Defines You?My Profile

    • Eh Randy
      Good to hear from you.
      Let me be the first of many to welcome you back to easyP.

      Thanks for a great story – “How much time have I got?”
      Now that is unfazed on steroids.

      Just been over to Bula Network and had a little listen to “Episode 102 – What Defines You?”
      (Click Randy’s CommentLuv link to have a listen – you’ll love it)

      I am now totally convinced that you are Jack Killian…

      “This is Jack Killian, “The Nighthawk” on KJCM, 98.3 and Good night America… wherever you are.”

      Stop there… I know you’ll deny it. LOL

      BTW – Been trying to get Tommy B over here but he’s disappeared!
      Anybody know where he is?
      If you are out there Tom…

      “Tommy can you hear me?
      Tommy can you see me?

      Thank you Pete Townshend and goodnight America… wherever you are.

  16. Hiya Keith and Future Impromptu Speakers,

    Epiphany! Writing a good comment is like speaking impromptu, isn’t it?

    In a recent article written for ComLuv, I noted that some people might not leave a comment because they’re shy or intimidated by the blog owner’s “awesomeness.” Your tips are universal — they even apply to the wonderful world of commenting. Wow!

    BTW – Thanks for calling me quotable! 🙂
    Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Beta, Beater, CommentLuv (Premium) is Sweeter!My Profile

    • Vernessa
      You’ve stolen my thunder!

      “Epiphany! Writing a good comment is like speaking impromptu, isn’t it?”

      Yes indeedy.
      Each time you comment you are writing a micro speech.

      Introduction – “Loved the way this post…”

      Development – “Never knew that Vernessa was an authority on CommentLuv. Perhaps you could….”

      Conclusion – “Thanks for the article, my cheque is in the post.”

      Great practice for thinking on your feet.

      Well spotted V.

  17. Hi Keith,

    I think you already know that I am one of the many zillions of people terrified of public speaking and avoid it like the plague. But as we all know, there are times when we HAVE to so I just bite the bullet through my anxiety attack and “do” it.

    I have to tell you the thought of an impromptu speech gives me an anxiety attack just reading about it 🙂 However, in an informal setting where my “speech” can be more of just my talking, I am actually fine with that. The reason being, as exemplified in the man’s reply of ““All my life….. all my life” is because I am actually comfortable with myself – if that makes sense.

    So if I am simply “talking” rather than making a formal, albeit impromptu, speech, I can just be me and not pass out 🙂 Does that make any sense?
    Julie Weishaar´s last great post ..Buyer Beware: Superman is NOT Real!My Profile

    • Hi Julie
      Good to hear from you.

      “Does that make any sense?”
      Makes perfect sense to me.

      Sorry to hear about your web hosting problems – what a downer.

      If you decide to give an impromptu on web hosting, I have the perfect title for you…

      “The good the bad and the ugly – choosing a web host.”

      Thanks for your comment Julie

  18. *bows deeply*

    A masterpiece Keith, I hope one day I’ll hear you speak. This is such sublime reading – thank you.
    Sarah Arrow´s last great post ..The 5 life stages of a bloggerMy Profile

    • Hi Genesis girl
      Thanks for a lovely compliment.
      You write a pretty good post yourself Sarah.

      Love that line at the bottom of your site…

      “Lovingly built, rebuilt and then rebuilt again by Sarah Arrow using Genesis”

      Your impromptu title…
      Rebuilding my website – OCD and beyond.” LOL

      Thanks for coming over.
      Keith

      • I like that impromptu title 🙂 I may just adopt it 🙂 and I am adopting this one as well “I must admit, whenever I feel the desire to exercise… I lie down until it goes away.”
        Sarah Arrow´s last great post ..Easy publishing to Kindle Check-listMy Profile

        • Hi Sarah

          “I must admit, whenever I feel the desire to exercise… I lie down until it goes away.”

          Stole that from the best after dinner speaker I ever met.

          The late great Mr Haydn Samuel.

          Haydn had a gorgeous Welsh accent, which turned his speeches into poetry.

          Still miss Haydn and I often think of him.

  19. Hi Keith and Melanie,

    Your article is a great encouragement to master the impromptu speaking.

    I liked many parts of it, especially the one about life story and how to construct such a speech. I did such speeches in the past and boy it was so stressful at the beginning 🙂 I still find it stressful due to lack of enough practice. I know however that learning this skill is so much helpful and beneficial in every days’ life.

    Thanks so much for interesting approach to this topic.
    Justyna Bizdra´s last great post ..Video Marketing Tips Part 2: Screencapture videosMy Profile

    • Good to hear from you Justyna

      Glad you found the post useful and what’s this…

      “I did such speeches in the past”

      Sounds like the secret side of Justyna, what else are you holding back? LOL

      Thanks for your support
      Keith

  20. Well Keith, I have to say your blog is incredible. Not only is the content fantastic, the community that you have build is nothing short of astonishing.

    I once saw someone stand for an impromptu and say, “some speeches are very very long, but this one isn’t.” and then sat down and it was brilliant. They did get up again and told a story but as a start it got me!

    I often start impromptu speeches with stories and my favourite is a story my mentor told me. He said, “when I met my first mentor he asked me, ‘what is hell on earth?’. I didn’t know how to answer and it wasn’t until 2 weeks had passed that he told me the answer. My mentor told me, “Hell on earth is meeting the person you could have been”.

    I love that story as you can take so much from it.

    Brilliant post as always and will be visiting more often!

    Cheers,

    Tom
    Tom Breeze´s last great post ..The Click To Tweet Method Really Works!!My Profile

    • Tom
      So good to see you back.
      We’ve missed you over here.

      “…the community that you have built is nothing short of astonishing.”
      You know I think that every time I visit the blog.
      It must be the only blog, where the comments are better than the posts.

      “Hell on earth is meeting the person you could have been”.
      Love that Tom.
      We all know how true that is, it stops you dead.

      We’ve got to sort out this affiliate business, I’ll email tomorrow.

      Cheers Tom.
      Keith

  21. Keith,

    It’s been way too long since I’ve visited. I loved this post, but I really enjoyed the comments and your replies.

    Speech-making isn’t my thing as I believe you know, but I would love to read stories aloud. It’s not the same thing as a speech, but there’s something wonderful to me about doing this.

    The funny part is it always brings out my Southern voice. I don’t really have a Southern accent when I talk normally. It only appears when I’m reading a story and then it’s like syrup.

    I’m pleased you are very busy and still helping those who must, at some point, stand up, hold the podium and face a room full of people…and then TALK. They are lucky to have coach like you:~)
    Sara´s last great post ..Fun with wordsMy Profile

    • Wonderful to hear from you Sara
      You still have the coolest avatar on the net.

      “It’s been way too long since I’ve visited.”
      Sara, if there are any apologies needed, they should be mine.
      I have neglected your blog for far too long and will make sure that I remedy that.

      “…but I would love to read stories aloud. The funny part is it always brings out my Southern voice.”

      Two things:
      First, I love to hear an American Southern accent – must have watched too much of Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

      Second, our mutual good friend Randy Cantrell recently sent me an audio cast about “blackouts” on American TV.”
      He was trying to educate me, alas in vein. LOL

      This is the link… http://soundcloud.com/randycantrell/randy-explains-tv-blackouts-to

      This looks to me like the perfect system for recording your reading and then listening to it. You may even want to share it with a few friends.

      I don’t know anything about this recording system, but my guess is that you can restrict access and just listen to it yourself.
      If you want to know more, contact Randy or contact me and I’ll forward your comment to Randy.

      One final thing:
      If you ever want to share one of your readings, I would consider it an honour to present it as a guest post here on easyP.

      Until next time.
      Love and best wishes.
      Keith

  22. It’s easy to deliver something if you are an expert in the subject. You can enlighten your audience by sharing the knowledge to involve them completely.
    George´s last great post ..NET10, Enhance Your Talktime with Nationwide CoverageMy Profile

    • Welcome to easyP George

      “It’s easy to deliver something if you are an expert in the subject.”

      That’s right and you will only be asked to speak on a subject that you know well.

      Thanks for coming over.

  23. Keith, “All Your Life” has been featured (mentioned) in the Public Speaking and Presentation Paper.li, an online mini mag curated by Karen Janas (U.K.).

    You sure get around!
    Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Beta, Beater, CommentLuv (Premium) is Sweeter!My Profile

  24. Hi Keith,

    I am so glad you left a comment on my blog 🙂 which encouraged me to check out yours!
    I guess I have always been good at “impromptu” speaking… It’s all about sharing a passion and that comes easy to me. I get real nervous when I am talking about something I don’t know or don’t have much experience, then yeah, it can be challenging.
    Talking in front of people is hard when you see it as that -I always just think I am having a conversation with nice friends and that’s all it is in the end. Sounds easy, but I understand why it can be scary..

    I love your theme, too 🙂

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress
    Franziska San Pedro´s last great post ..Do Kids Need Art Education?My Profile

    • Welcome Franziska
      Always good to get a comment from an Elegant Themer, and what a comment.

      “It’s all about sharing a passion and that comes easy to me.”

      Mmmmm – tell me more Franziska.

      “I get real nervous when I am talking about something I don’t know or don’t have much experience…”

      That has to be true for any of us.
      If you don’t know anything about the subject, decline to speak, or become a politicia.

      “I always just think I am having a conversation with nice friends…”
      That’s a great tip that we can all use.

      Apreciate you stopping by and hope you become a regular.

      Keith

  25. Hi Keith .. you’ve obviously been much missed – many comments and that’s great … you do offer such good advice.

    And I totally agree with what you say about impromptu speaking ..

    though #2 IS POSSIBLE .. the revolving door would keep going round and round ..so often – the skis would be worn down and you’d get through .. sorry!

    Cheers Hilary

    • Hi H
      Great to see you over here.

      Just like the bad penny, I keep coming back.

      “though #2 IS POSSIBLE .. the revolving door would keep going round and round ..so often – the skis would be worn down and you’d get through .. sorry!”

      Looks as though I’m wrong again. LOL

      I’ll pay you a visit over the weekend.

      Good to hear from you.
      Keith

  26. Keith,

    I know very little about Mr. Blobby, but now I feel much better about standing up impromptu-like. Stellar info — enough to bring me out from behind the shadows, even. 🙂
    M

  27. Hi Keith,

    What a fabulous blog you have here, I am so happy I came over.

    I have made a lot of speeches, I learnt the mechanics during my MBA course, long, long time ago. Thankfully, I haven’t had the pleasure (?) of making many imprmptu ones, other than which I was forced to deliver, in my Business Communications class. Those ones always ended in lots of laughter, mostly from the students (gratefully) seated, and always with relief – when the speech ended -usually from the speaker.

    I am still writing mine.
    Cheers
    Marya | Writing Happiness´s last great post ..People do Not Follow Blogs; They Follow Other PeopleMy Profile

    • Welcome to easyP Marya and thanks for a gorgeous comment.

      You sound as if your speaking is well under control so I’ll go straight to your impromptu title…

      Your title is…

      “The art of blogging – why I practice what I preach.”

      An easy one for you Marya.

      Can’t thank you enough for coming over.

      Keith

  28. Hi Keith
    This was a brilliant article, I’ve sent it to all the members of York Speakers Club and had some great responses.
    Everyone seems frightened by the prospect of impromtu speaking at first but once we get used to it many of us actually start to enjoy the excitement of it.
    It appeals to me because I’m lazy. With a prepared speech you need to work and plan and practise. At topics you can just have a go.

    I find it easier to split up the subject into past, present and future. If the subject doesn’t lend itself to that treatment you can divide it up into thoughts like what it is, what it does and why it’s better.Everyone can surely talk intellegently about any subject for 30 or 40 seconds and link them together to conclude with a flourish.
    I enjoy watching new speakers at the club terrified the first few times then gradually start to develop confidence in their own ability.

    I hope you continue to send out great items like this, Keith. I’m looking forward to seeing you at conference in Cardiff.

    • Hi Lindsay
      Thanks for a fabo comment from a guy who should know.

      Glad that You and York Speakers found the article useful – you can all give it a go at your next topics session.

      “It appeals to me because I’m lazy. With a prepared speech you need to work and plan and practise. At topics you can just have a go.”

      I’ll go with that Lindsay. I’ve always seen it as a better indicator of speaking ability than the Prepared Speech.

      “I enjoy watching new speakers at the club terrified the first few times then gradually start to develop confidence in their own ability.”

      I’ve always enjoyed topics – gets the blood racing – but I sometimes wonder if Topics are the best way to get beginners started.
      Any thoughts.

      Can’t thank you enough fot a super comment and please say thank you, from me, to your members.

      Keith

  29. The art of an impromptu speech– Whoever knew it took so much preparation?

    This post is a great reminder of how much effort a speech takes, even when it looks effortless. For instance, the quote about Winston Churchill is thought provoking because one realizes that developing the ability to speak well comes from practice, practice, practice.

    You are right to say that joining a speaking group is an effective approach to honing the art. In my opinion — it is the only way.

    I remember reading an article about a women who purposefully engaged in conversations with strangers so she could practice the art of dialogue. It is the same thing with public speaking, I suppose. However, we must deliberately put ourselves at the podium; our public speaking is only going to get better when we create opportunities to practice as well as perform.

    I don’t know about you — but if I’m going to practice, I’d rather be in a supportive and constructive group setting instead of an expecting audience.

    Kudos on the wonderful blog! I certainly appreciate your wise counsel, Keith. I will be back time and time again.

    Courtney
    Courtney Allison´s last great post ..Yelling at Joel Osteen like I was Watching a Football GameMy Profile

    • Hi Courtney
      Wow! What a fantastic comment.

      “Whoever knew it took so much preparation?”
      Yes, I know what you mean.

      “…a great reminder of how much effort a speech takes, even when it looks effortless.”
      It’s like watching Roger Federer.
      His shots look effortless, but what we don’t see is all the practice he puts in.

      “…I’d rather be in a supportive and constructive group setting instead of an expecting audience.”
      Absolutely and Toastmasters and Speakers Clubs are just the places to get that support and constructive feedback.

      “I will be back time and time again.”
      I do hope so Courtney.
      You are my first visitor from twitter.
      Now if all my visitors from twitter can write comments like you… I will be a happy man.

      Many thanks for coming over.

      Keith

  30. Good to learn about speaking and learning about presentations

  31. Hi Keith,

    I’ve had limited experiece with public speaking but what little I’ve had this is how it usually turns out for me.

    Nervous at first but after about two or three minutes it becomes fun as I get myself on a roll. I even find that sometimes I don’t want to stop. Maybe it stems from that thing in us where we all like to talk about ourselves.

    Great ideas about preparing for impromptu speaches. I’ll try to remember those for when I do webinars.

    • Hi John

      “Nervous at first but after about two or three minutes it becomes fun…”
      Never seen you look even the slightest bit nervous John.
      When I first came across your WordPress videos I assumed that you were a pro speaker… which you are, but don’t know it.

      “Great ideas about preparing for impromptu speaches…”
      All pros prepare and then make it look off the cuff.
      Stand up comedians do it all the time.

      Thanks for coming over and leaving a super comment.

      Keith

  32. One of my weakness is that I get afraid of speaking in public. I can’t even read properly in front of few people due to some kind of fear I guess. I read your post entirely and its going to be of great help to me. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  33. Hi Keith, long time no see.

    This was a topical post for me as I’ve just joined a Toastmasters group and had to give an impromptu speech during the Table Topics section on Thursday. And I didn’t enjoy it at all.

    Speaking extemporaneously is not a strength that I posess, ever. And I need solutions! I’ve started blogging about my experiences on my blog (though I haven’t got around to my latest post yet I hope you or your readers will stop by and leave some thoughts in the comments.

    I have to give my Ice Breaker speech at the next meeting :-/ Not looking forward to it at this stage I have to say.
    Roz Bennetts´s last great post ..Toastmasters Public Speaking Group Post #2My Profile

    • Hi Roz
      Great to hear from you and… what fantastic news, you’ve joined Toastmasters.

      “Speaking extemporaneously is not a strength that I posess…”
      Give it time Roz.
      How many Table topics have you done? One, two?
      Wait until you’ve done 102 and then you can tell me that impromptu speaking is not your strong point.

      “I have to give my Ice Breaker speech at the next meeting…”
      Brilliant.
      Get in plenty of practice and don’t forget… this is your first speech, you won’t be expected to speak like a pro.
      Read that last mangled sentence again so that it sinks in.

      Please let me know how everything goes, good luck with the Ice Breaker and please, please, please report back.

      Break a leg.

      Keith

      Nearly forgot – come on peeps please head over to Roz’s site and give her your support.
      Keith Davis´s last great post ..The Tyranny of the Or…My Profile

      • “May the force be with you”, Roz!

        (I think that’s a line from some movie. But nonetheless, the sentiment remains.) 🙂

        I’m a sucker for ice breakers. I could sit and come up with ice breakers till the cows come home!

        Of course, I’ve been honing that skill for three decades. So please take Keith’s words to heart.

        No one expects you to deliver up an award-winning ice breaker right out of the freezer — I mean, “gate”. LOL

      • Hi Keith, thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement. Yes I’ve only done two topics so far so maybe I should set my expectations a bit lower. 😉

        Anyway, I will keep you posted!
        Roz Bennetts´s last great post ..Toastmasters Public Speaking Group Post #2My Profile

        • Hi Roz, pleased to meet you! I dropped by your blog earlier just to say hi. 🙂

          Have fun with your impromptu!
          Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Virtual Assistant Comment SpamMy Profile

          • Hiya Vernassa, you were kind enough to leave some words of encouragement on my blog prior to delivering my Ice-Breaker speech, do you remember?

            Well I know it’s ages since but there was a technical hitch, now resolved and I’ve posted up the video (see post embedded in this comment), and I hope you’ll have an opportunity to check it out (and be gentle with me)! ;D
            Roz Bennetts´s last great post ..My Ice-Breaker Speech Video at Toastmasters Stanmore/HarrowMy Profile

        • Hi Roz
          Two topics, as many as that!
          Come on Roz after my second ski lesson I could barely put on my own ski boots.
          To tell the truth… I still struggle a bit.

          Sounds as though you have three supporters at least here on easyP.
          So please remember… when you deliver your ice breaker you won’t see us, but we’ll be there.

          Don’t forget to let us know how it goes.

  34. Thanks Mel and V for coming over and giving Roz your support.

    Something tells me that both of you would be brilliant at table topics.
    I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

    The only problem you would have… is finishing in three minutes. LOL

    Keith

    • “The only problem you would have … is finishing in three minutes.”

      You got that right! LOL!

      You know me too well. 🙂

      • Hi Mel
        Oh no! I was just about to edit my own comment but too late.

        I can tell from yours and V’s comment that you simply… talk.
        The added bits of humour show how easy you both find it.

        I would think that blog comments are a good measure of how someone would deliver a topic.

        How is “Le Grand Projet” coming along?
        Bon ou mauvais?

        Threw that in because Klout tells me that I am an authority on France.
        Who am I to argue.

        Au revoir cherie.

  35. Hi Keith, Melanie and Vanessa. I got around to posting about my Table Topic (see link). Please feel free to look and comment. I really want to brain-storm the topics to see if two or three formats can’t be developed to make them eaiser for us beginners.

    My Icebreaker is on Thursday next week and my mentor Bill has helped me a lot.
    Roz Bennetts´s last great post ..Toastmasters Public Speaking Group Post #3My Profile

    • Hi Roz
      Let me know what your last topic was and I’ll show you how I would have handled it.

      “My Icebreaker is on Thursday next week..”
      Sounds as though Bill is doing a great job so no comment from me.
      Don’t forget to give us the full SP.

      Break a leg.
      Keith

      BTW – Just been over to your latest post, but stopped reading it in case you mentioned your topic title.
      Didn’t want to spoil your letting me know what it was.

      • Thanks and thanks Keith. The topic and what I did is in my post – please can you leave it in the comments? You can be my first commenter… ooooh errr 😛
        Roz Bennetts´s last great post ..Toastmasters Public Speaking Group Post #3My Profile

        • Hi Roz
          Not an easy topic
          “whether it was right or not that Col. Gaddafi had been killed and whether or not it was the best thing for Libya.”

          First thing… any topic can be started with a question to the audience, in this case:

          “Did you hear about the death of Col. Gadaffi on the news?”

          Look at the audience and wait for a reply.

          Follow with:

          “Did you think it was a good thing or a bad thing?”

          Again wait for a reply.

          Now you have the classic on the one hand… on the other hand topic.
          So continue:

          “I have mixed feelings. On the positive side…… (a few reasons).”

          “But on the negative side… (a few reasons).”

          And then conclude by deciding one way or another – don’t sit on the fence.

          “Mr chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know how you feel about it, but having looked at both sides, I feel that the death of Col. Gadaffi has to be good for Libya, good for democracy and good for the world.”

          Finish with a piece of rhetoric, bow to the chairman and walk slowly to your seat.

          Remember – all topics can be started with a question.

          If the topic alows it – use both sides of the argument.
          When yo say “On the one hand” move to the left.
          When you say “On the other hand” move to the right.
          Return to the centre for your summary/conclusion.

          Hope that helps Roz.

          Keith

    • Hi Roz,

      Thanks for letting me know. I’ll drop by and give it a read. Would love to see what’s shaking (not you, of course!). 🙂
      Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..My U.S.P. – A Technologist’s Marriage VowsMy Profile

  36. Hi Keith, very interesting post. I know a bit or two about public speaking, like a couple of Carnegie courses and some books on the topic, so I think I can say that this is a pretty good post, clear, well written and with sound information.

    Clearly worth reading. 🙂
    hypnodude´s last great post ..Conscious and Subconscious Mind PowerMy Profile

  37. that’s very helpful
    one of the things that helps me a lot is preparing the speech before i give them. i just say them aloud when am alone as if am talking to the audience
    when i get to face people i can easily recall the key words and phrases
    farouk´s last great post ..Why are some people needyMy Profile

  38. Keith,
    These impromptu speech openers are really helpful. I laughed at Robert Orben’s opener. Now three of these is probably more than I’ll actually need, but just for kicks, do you know if there is a really good book that has nice, funny impromptu speech openers like these?

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