How do you handle the need to speak off-the-cuff? Whether it’s at a holiday party, a bosses request for a status report, or a job interview question you were not ready for the answer to your success can be the same: Planned Spontaneity.
What does that mean? Simply put, you need to be ready to respond when you are caught off guard. Sounds easy when you say it out loud, but it does take a little work and preperation (plus a little practice) to get it right.
First, let’s deal with the intial work – preparing what you know.
1. Identify your three best topics (i.e. leadership, speaking and blogging)
2. Decide on your best story on each topic (i.e. something where you learned a useful lesson from another source)
3. Come up with transitions from common themes (i.e. holidays to speaking, “biggest challenge” to leadership, or your own common themes)
Second, find a venue to practice these stories (note: it helps to write them down).
1. You can use your mirror
2. You can use your Toastmaster’s club (if you are not a member, then join one)
3. Test your stories out on friends. See how they respond and adjust.
Third, freshen up your stories. Your life changes, and you will want to avoid using the same stories year after year. As you get better at this, and make yourself a story file, this will become easier.
Take the time to be prepared, and you can see success as a spontaneous speaker in a variety of real-world situations.