Think Fast! Tips For Impromptu Speaking

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2019 at 12:30 PM

We have all been there:

  • You suddenly find yourself being asked to say a few words about your business or project
  • You meet a person that is of personal or professional interest and you want to make a good impression
  • You are asked to speak and you are not prepared

Opportunity has presented itself to you and you have to think quickly on your feet.

How well you do depends entirely on you – will you take the conversation to the next level or will it (and your prospects) fade right there on the spot. A recent study indicates that 53% of customers report their initial impressions of the person speaking helped them make their decision on the spot.

In that brief moment, here are three things you can to deliver a compelling and inviting message:

  1. Pause before you speak – This extra time allows you time to think (and it is amazing how much thinking one can do in a split second!) and it demonstrates your comfort with the topic. The air of desperation is replaced with one of confidence.
  2. Be clear on the single point you want to make – You have just a few seconds to make an impression – what is it you want to leave them with when you are done? Rather than overloading them with too much, give them just a single, clear thought to contemplate.
  3. Make eye contact – More than your words, your body language delivers a strong message. A confident, friendly smile combined with a warm look in the eye conveys sincerity, confidence and credibility.

While the specific instances of each talk cannot be planned – we all know these situations will occur and should be prepared with a short response, even if we do not know the question.

You are not talking about rocket science – you are talking about your business. You should always be able to tell someone about your life or business in a few seconds with a smile on your face.

Use these three techniques to deliver a strong, compelling message that intrigues your listeners.



Do you rely on your words to help grow your business? Are you involved in a business networking group such as BNI or a Chamber of Commerce? Improve your networking skills by learning to create an Effective informercial and elevator speech.  Click HERE for details.

Are you an experienced speaker interested in improving your skills and increase the effectiveness of your presentations? The Speakers Academy is a fast, intense, five-part workshop for professionals that want to increase their confidence, become more credible, and accomplish more with their words.

We will build on your existing skills and bring you to a new level with your speaking.

Click here to learn more about the Speakers Academy.

© 2009 by iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links from your blog or webpage are encouraged.

What Makes A Visual Aid Effective?

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2019 at 1:47 PM

keep it simpleEffective visual aids intrigue your audience and support the point you are making.  The impact of your visual aid will increase if it is properly designed and presented appropriately.

A good visual aid contains only information needed to make your primary point. Every word, line, dot or picture should be necessary to make the one point you are trying to achieve. Everything else is irrelevant and will confuse the audience. It is better to present less information than to drown your audience in details.

Effective Visual Aids Are Clean, Simple And To The Point!

If there are several bits of information needed on a particular visual aid, disclose them one at a time allowing your audience to absorb them before moving to the next point.

When presenting your image, expose it to your audience at the point in your talk that it is relevant. Allow your audience adequate time to look at and understand your image before you begin speaking again. Once you move to the next topic, take the image down so the audience will again focus on your words.

Your visual aid needs to be readable by everyone in the room. While there are guides that will help you calculate the proper size of text and images, the best test is to put your image up and then stand in the back of the room you will be presenting in. If this is not possible, put it up in a large room and step back and see how far you can go and still read the words and letters. The back row of your audience should be no further back than this point.

Another good test is to show your visual aid to a co-worker (or outsider). Have them view it from the same distance you expect your audience to view it, take it down and ask what they remember. Does it make sense, is there anything they find confusing or any information they feel is missing? Are the words and symbols readable?

Making it easier for your audience to understand what you are saying is the whole purpose of making a presentation. A well thought out and appropriately used visual aid can create that moment of discovery that you can hear in the room!


For more information, send me an email and ask for a copy of

“Quick Tips to Creating Effective Power Point Graphics”






© 2007 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

A Tough Act To Follow

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2018 at 1:10 PM


excellent speakerThe speaker on stage was excellent. She had it dialed in: the audience was attentive, involved and the room was full of energy and laughter. The man standing next to me leaned into me to whisper “She is really good. Sure glad I am not up next. That would be one tough act to follow”.

What this man did not realize is I was the next speaker and in a few minutes I would be taking the stage with this same audience. My assessment of the situation was quite the opposite of his though: I was delighted with what she was doing with the audience and how she was setting me up for success. I knew when I took over, the audience would be alive, active, fully charged and ready to take it to the next level. She had in essence, built a podium of success for to me to step up to.

As I took the stage, I acknowledged what a great speaker had preceded me. I reminded the audience of her energy and felt the room liven up again at just the thought. Then I worked my own magic on the audience and gave the audience my best. Being ready for the presentation helped: I had a clear goal, an outline, and used the confidence that comes with properly preparing to catapult the audience to new heights.

Many speakers, including the man I mentioned earlier, are intimidated in this situation and start with something like “That is one hard act to follow.” That type of statement implies you are intimidated and immediately lowers your credibility both to your audience and in your own mind.

The next time you find yourself following a really great presenter, rather than bring the energy down, boost it by taking one of these approaches:

  • Thank the speaker and highlight a part of the talk you found helpful
  • Acknowledge the speaker’s success to the audience, for example, open with” Wow! – That was one great presentation –don’t you think?”
  • “Let’s have another round of applause for that great presentation”
  • Highlight a point the speaker made and how it relates to what you will present

Rather than dread following an excellent speaker – ride the wave of energy and excitement. Express gratitude to the previous speaker, acknowledge how good they are then give the audience your best.


© 2016 iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.