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Impromptu practice with News-Sentinel

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 8:45 am

Who can benefit from improving their impromptu skills? Everyone!

Impromptu speaking simply means speaking with little or no preparation time. Whether you are in a class, business meeting, job interview or grocery store, you will be expected to think quickly and orally express your thoughts in a logical manner.

When the question is personal, it shouldn't be too difficult to cultivate a response; however, if the topic strays from your comfort zone and you don't have much knowledge on the subject, sweat beads will form.

Yesterday, the speech students at Jim Elliot Christian High School experienced just that. Each student received a Lodi News-Sentinel and was asked to familiarize themselves with every article in the paper within an allotted time frame of 15 minutes. After that, all of the papers were removed and students (one at a time) selected 4 headlines from a bag. They were asked to choose one, walk to the front of the room and deliver a 2-5 minute speech to their classmates.

According to most studies, public speaking feared more than death itself. What should we do about that? Embrace every opportunity to speak in public!

You might stumble on your words, turn crimson red and sweat profusely, but that's okay. Do it and do it again. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, "I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, providing he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him."

Technique Tips:

• Take a couple of deep breathes before you speak.

• Act confident, even if you aren't. Good posture and eye contact are essential.

• Slow your rate of speech. It's not a race. Give yourself time to think before you speak.

• Stick to the point and don't ramble. Be direct, brief and positive.

• Again, be positive. Be positive. Be positive. Don't say "can't" because you can!

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