Impromptu speaking (i.e Table Topics) is arguably the most challenging part of the Toastmasters experience. Be that as it may, it can also be the most exhilarating. The key is in your preparation and perspective. Armed with enthusiasm and creative tactics, you can make it a successful experience.
People naturally feel nervous about making a mistake or sounding foolish. Taking a deep breath and letting it all out before beginning your speech will surely help you, as it clears your mind and gives you a moment to relax. Notwithstanding, that is not enough. The strategies below will guide you through the process with ease and confidence
Impromptu speaking is about being “in the moment”, so it is very crucial to prepare yourself to respond to a question. Are you present or preoccupied?
Be 100 percent attentive. What is happening in the room? What has been said already? What is the theme? With a knowledge of all these, you can reference things previously said or done.
Regardless of the topic or question you are asked, you can link it to current events. Think about events that occurred around you. Talking about topical issues or events will make your response fresh.
FOLLOW YOUR FIRST INSTINCT
Your first instinct when you hear a topic is always right. It provides you with a head start. Your first instinct could be an image, a line of reasoning, and so on.
USE WHAT YOU KNOW
Having heard the topic, does it remind you of something or someone? It could be a joke, a quote, and so on. Use it.
ANSWER THE FIVE W’S AND H
Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How?… Answering these questions will help you to work your way through.
TALK ABOUT TIME
Use a three-pronged approach to fashioning a response. Speak to the past, present and future for a given topic.
BRIDGE THE TOPIC
The topic may be something we know nothing about. What to do is simple – connect the topic to one you do know about. This is called Bridging i.e building a bridge to link what you don’t know to what you know.
That’s it, 7 easy steps to effectively tackle impromptu speaking.
Do send us your comments and observations.