Impromptu Speaking

While there are several situations where impromptu speaking skills can be utilized, here I will briefly discuss how to approach preparing for a five minute impromptu speech on an assigned topic.

Frame Your Issue

Start off by explaining what the issue is. Frame it in a manner that will put your arguments in the best light. (you might consider fine tuning this after you have come up with arguments)

Give Two or Three Reasons Why View the Issue the Way You Do

Before you dive into your arguments, briefly list what your arguments will be. This “roadmap” will give your speech structure both in your head and for the listeners.

Present Your Arguments

Then move on to presenting each of your arguments. In doing so, think about ways to best support each argument. For example, when talking about a legal issue, comparing past cases is where we would likely start when supporting our arguments. But we could also give policy reasons, share personal stories and make common sense observations.

Draw Conclusions

At the end, remind the listener why your arguments are the best way to view the topic.

Author: mblemieux

Matt LeMieux is a lecturer at the University of Osnabrück, where he teaches in the Law School and coordinator of the school's foreign law program. Before moving to Germany, he was the Executive Director of affiliate offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Nebraska and Missouri. He has a law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law and is an inactive member of the Nebraska Bar Association and past member of the Michigan Bar Association.