Impromptu Exercises

One of the things I love is impromptu exercises because they help you to think on your feet. These are speeches that are given without warning or advanced planning. Usually a speaker will present a question or a saying and then choose someone from the audience to answer the question or explain the saying.

There is really no right or wrong answer but you are expected to answer the question or explain the meaning using a beginning, middle, and end approach. You do need to think out your answer completely in the time allotted. Usually it is 1-3 minutes. Because many of you are just learning how to give presentations practicing impromptu speeches would be a wonderful thing for you to do.

It will sharpen your mind, help you make your speeches concise and to the point and it will help you to learn how to package your speech properly. This is why I have included several exercises that you can try. In order to do these exercises properly you will need a timer, a recorder, and a relative or friend that is willing to time you and give you feedback.

You are expected to answer the questions to the best of your ability. The person who is helping you is to read the question to you. They are to start timing you once you utter your first word. You will have two minutes to answer. If you answer in less than one minute you will need to do it again. The object is to be able to speak for over one minute and twenty seconds. But not with gaps of silence in between. You are to continue to speak addressing the question as concisely and clearly as you can. If you can’t do it the first time just keep trying until you can.

Exercise Questions/Sayings

  1. “Lets Pray that the human race never escapes Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.” –C. S. Lewis what does this saying mean to you?
  2. “…Humans are not defined by there limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image.”–Elousia (character in the book The Shack).
  3. Why do you want to be a public speaker?
  4. Whom do you love the most and why?
  5. Who are you?
  6. What makes you special?
  7. Who do you admire the most and why?
  8. If you could do your life all over what would you do differently?
  9. If the world was ending today…how would you spend your day?
  10. If you had the ability to create a new world would you put in it? Why?

You can come up with other questions and sayings to address. This activity can be done as a family or as a small group–why not get your relatives and friends involved?

After you have answered the questions (and they do not have to be done in one sitting) listen to your recording–identify areas where you can improve your presentation. Get feedback from your audience. Then go back and practice some more. This will help you become a better presenter. There is no short cut–in order to be a good public speaker you have to practice–you have to exercise your public speaking muscle.

To learn more about public speaking click here.


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Written by Michelle Dyett-Welcome on October 12, 2009

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