What Are the PARTS of an Impromptu Speech?

What Are the PARTS of an Impromptu Speech?

Our goal is to provide you with a formula you can use to answer any question, deliver any speech or present any presentation with 10 seconds or less prep time.

All you need to remember are the PARTS of the impromptu speech:

POSITION yourself: First mentally prepare yourself that no matter what comes your way, you can answer any question. Being a great leader or speaker first comes from within. You have to believe it. If you don’t believe it no one else will. Position in your mind that you are great at answering questions you wont need to pass it on, you don’t stumble, fumble or fall, but instead you are tall, smart and reliable. The next thing you need to do is position your body. Are you standing up? Are you sitting down? Position yourself with both feet on the ground, sitting up, shoulders and head back and scan the audience with your eyes. Position yourself. TIP: Start searching for how great speakers position themselves when they speak or get asked a questions. Find three speakers you enjoy listening to and find two things about their position you can use for yourself.

ANSWER the question: Get to the point. Say yes, no or share where you stand on the subject. Get it out in the open and let your audience know what you feel because the next puzzle piece of the PARTS formula is for you to give your reason and things you have heard others say.

REASON you believe it: Share a personal story with us that will relate to your answer. Why do you agree or disagree with the statement? Where did you learn to think that way and come up with that answer? People connect more to personal stories than facts, however facts give your speech validation and proof that you are more than personal, you are professional and can be trusted. That is why the next point, things others say, is also important. It ties in personal stories with credibility. It is hard to argue with personal experience and credible facts.

THINGS others say: What are the facts you have heard on TV or in the news recently? What are some books or quotes you have heard famous people utter that you can weave into this impromptu speech? Let us know you are not the only one thinking this way but others around the world see where you are coming from. This is harder to do at times but you can also mention what others have said that you disagree with and why.

SUMMARIZE your thoughts: State your answer again, share your reason in a summarized sentence and touch up on one major thing others say you agree with. Then position yourself where you look at the audience one more time and conclude with addressing the person who asked you the question. TIP: Start writing down the questions you get answered all of the time. Over time, most of the questions you’ll receive in your professional career, if you stay in a comparable field, will be very similar.  Have a place where you can start writing down all the questions you get asked and see what the common ones are. These questions will no longer be impromptu for you. Remember, they don’t know you get that question asked all the time. It is your job to deliver it with energy, convection and authenticity.

Let’s take a question and see how we can use the PARTS of an impromptu speech…

Question: Is Batman or Superman a better super hero?

I am standing up, looking at the audience and smile on my face with both feet planted firmly on the ground (POSITION). I believe Batman is a better super hero than Superman for multiple reasons (ANSWER). Batman was not born with super human strength. He is just like you and me but taught himself to be super. He had to work harder than Superman did. Plus, I think he has a better costume and better tools to fight crime (REASON). I believe American citizens would also agree with me on this because in recent years both Batman and Superman movies have been in theaters. Which movie sold more tickets and grossed more in sales? Batman! (THINGS others say). I believe Batman is a better superhero because he works harder than Superman, he sells more movie tickets than Superman and he has a better costume (SUMMARY).

Impromptu speeches can be short or long. This is an example how to give a short and sweet response to a question but you can use the PARTS formula for delivering a one minute or one hour response to an impromptu speech or presentation.

Practice the PARTS formula with these questions:

1) Should the United States allow animal testing if it could save human life?
2) Where do you think the best place is to vacation?
3) Should the company start giving 5% of net profits away to non-profits?
4) Do you think cell phones should be banned from schools?

Don’t just ask yourself questions related to your professional career. You want to practice with a variety of questions so you can start getting used to remembering the PARTS of an impromptu speech. Have your friends ask you any question and start using the PARTS formula today to get better at speaking off the cuff.

Once you get comfortable using the formula and you use it to answer questions, deliver presentations or give speech’s at work, you will position yourself as a competent speaker who carries leadership qualities. In turn, showing you are confident, a powerful presenter and has the ability to hold your own when put in a variety of situations. Knowing how to answer and respond to an impromptu speech or presentation will help you stand out among your fellow co-workers  and help you advance in your career faster than any of your peers.

(Did you like this article? Was it helpful? If so, please share this with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or email and let’s teach more people how to be a better speaker!) 

This post was written by
At age 25, Ryan Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history; competing against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries to claim the 2012 Championship title. As an Emmy Award winning journalist and a proud member of the National Speakers Association, Ryan uses his background in multimedia and speaking to help reach the younger generation on the importance of improving their communication skills in order to advance in their professional and personal life.

2 Comments on "What Are the PARTS of an Impromptu Speech?"

  • This was great! Thank you. I have a problem with impromptu speeches, but more than that I am mentoring a brand new toastmaster that has yet to speak two sentences in a row. This may really help him, too. I’m passing this on!

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