Speaking spontaneously: A five-second delivery strategy
How often do you need to "say a few words" as a business professional without any preparation time? Meetings, conference calls, or standing in for another speaker are some possible scenarios.
Many people feel more anxiety in these speaking situations than making a prepared presentation. The result may be you rambling, filling your sentences with "ums", or making no sense at all. In such a case, your credibility is unquestionably at risk.
The moment you don't have time to prepare, what do you do to create a compelling and engaging presentation in the heat of the moment? The following are some surprisingly effective strategies for presenting a professional image and providing coherent remarks when speaking impromptu.
- Become a member of a networking group
- The 5-second prep for speaking spontaneously
- In what way would you like me to convey my message?
- Would it be possible for me to help?
- What is the most effective way to say it?
- Solution: Present the solution after stating your problem.
- Point/reason/example: Provide an explanation, an example, and a reason for your claim.
- Theory/practice: Provide a theory and then describe how it will be implemented.
- BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Let's talk about how to achieve the end goal or conclusion. As an example: We must save 10 percent. Let's discuss how to do that.
- The answer is yes, you can practice spontaneity
- Learn more about Toastmasters.
- Engage in meetings by speaking up.
Local networking groups are likely to exist in your industry or city. As well as meeting people and expanding your career, these are great opportunities to practice spontaneous speech. Consider answering a question or sharing an experience or an opinion every time you meet. Practicing spontaneous speaking will lead to better performance with less stress, and you will become more comfortable.
One time, I was called upon to make a presentation before a client in the middle of the meeting. When an escalating issue was discussed for an hour, the client requested that everyone present share their strategy for resolving it. I asked myself these questions at that moment:
The moment I heard my message, I immediately knew how to frame it and deliver it effectively. What is the result? We received three years of work from our client after he clearly understood and accepted the strategy.
Is it really so simple? Following the above strategy will give you the impression of being more articulate and confident even when there are only a few seconds to catch your breath. You can do it this way.
1 Listen to what the other person is saying.
Ever thought the best listeners and speakers are a perfect match? My strategy would have failed if I hadn't carefully listened to the client's concerns.
2 What is the main point you want to convey?
Do you know what your listeners want or need to know at this very moment? Simply asking yourself this question may lead to surprising answers. Make it as simple as possible.
3 What are effective ways of framing the message?
Next, choose an organizational structure that you're familiar with in order to help others follow what you're saying. Here are a few examples:
You'll be able to execute these structures much more effectively once you've developed some experience using them.
4 How should I express myself appropriately?
You need to think carefully about the words you use and the tone of your voice, as well as whether you use facial expressions or gestures. How informal, empathetic, authoritative, and businesslike should you be? It's important to match your tone and delivery to those you're addressing to ensure your ideas are well received.
The ability to speak spontaneously improves just like any other skill. On the phone, speaking to colleagues, or even having lunch over ideas, you speak spontaneously all the time. Since the stakes aren't as high, you don't feel the pressure of public speaking during those everyday interactions.
Take advantage of opportunities to practice and become more comfortable being spontaneous so you can take your skills to the next level. You can do this in several different ways.
Members of Toastmasters learn to organize their thoughts quickly when responding to an impromptu question and topic during the longstanding Table Topics Workout. Try an activity similar to Toastmasters with your colleagues in a relaxed setting if Toastmasters is not a viable option for you. 365 Table Topics Questions is a great starting point and a way to break the ice.
Instead of avoiding large group meetings, use them as a chance to hone your skills. You will be able to share your ideas with more ease once you begin asking questions.