Impromptu Speech: Five Secrets to
“Thinking on Your Feet”
By Ed Sykes ©
All Rights Reserved
times we are put into situations where we are asked a question and need to give
answer, or “think on your feet.” It could be a sales or customer
service situation, your manager asking you for a progress report, a request for
your ideas on a new community project, or a job interview.
During these times we can feel the pressure. Our heart begins to race, we start
to sweat, we feel our knees knocking, or we want to hide under a rock. This is
because sometimes the answer we give could mean that big sale, the customer
being satisfied, a promotion or raise, or that dream job.
following are five secrets to help you give an impromptu answer and master your “thinking on your feet”
times when we are in a high pressure situation where we are so nervous we really
don’t hear the actual question. Been there, done that. To make sure we
understand the question and give the right answer do the following:
(Benefit: Relaxes body and mind).
at the questioner. (Benefit: Increases comprehension.)
(Benefit: increases clarity and shows you are listening).
It is okay to pause. Pause
to gather your thoughts. When you pause you look and sound poised and in
control. Remember, there is power in silence.
This has several benefits:
Buys you time
complete piece of information.
Allows you to
take control of the question by rephrasing the question to a more positive light
everyone, if in a public setting, to hear the question.
Focus on One
Main Point and Support It
The number one reason why we
sometimes freeze up when asked to think on our feet is because we have so many
ideas running around in our minds. We don’t know which idea to mention.
Here’s the solution: Go with
the first idea that comes to mind and say it. By sticking with that one point
you can focus on two or three supporting points. You sound more direct and
confident when giving your answer.
Summarize and Stop (SAS)
your answer with some SAS (Summarize and Stop). Give your answer, summarize,
and stop. Don’t apologize and don’t ramble on beyond the finish. Try this
trick: repeat the essence of the question. For example, you may be asked, “Why
did you stop the project?” In your summary you might say, “And that‘s why we
decided to start another project.” Then stop.
your answer, let them know the end is near by saying:
simply stop. Remember SAS.
Apply these techniques so that you can become a master
impromptu speaker, improve your
“thinking on your feet” skills, and give great answers.
Think on Your Feet
to learn how to improve your impromptu speaking skills.
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Your Point Across! (Yes you can, here's the plan!)