Impromptu speeches can be mastered

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Even top executives dread giving an impromptu speech. But those who put their minds and thoughts to it can crack it.

The measure of a good public speaker is the impromptu speech. This is an unrehearsed, spontaneous or unprepared speech that a contestant is expected to make.

Accomplished mathematician, public speaker, public speaking trainer and motivational speaker Chris King says when you have to give an unprepared speech, you should quickly organise your thoughts.

King says you should take the platform with enthusiasm and confidence.

Even when you feel some apprehension, avoid apologies or excuses because this robs you of credibility. He advises speech makers not to stray from the main subject.

It is as if most of the public high school pupils in grades 11 and 12 who have been taking part in the Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards have been doing exactly this over the past 17 years.

Most of them have showed that the workshops held in the build-up to the contest's provincial eliminations are a solid foundation in nurturing aspirant orators.

The young speakers have been excelling in the impromptu category like seasoned professionals .

While the prepared section remains unchanged, the provincial and national finalists are being given a new challenge. The impromptu speech and conversation session is replacing the conventional impromptu speech session.

Contestants will now be given a chance to interact on a nail-biting social, political or economic topic or issue. And it will all take place in a boardroom, conference room or formal setting.

l Provincial finals begin this month. South Africa's best young public speaker will be crowned in Johannesburg in June.