Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Are you used to having plans when preparing for presentations at work?

In today’s episode, learn how to adapt to work situations that require you to talk or speak with little to no preparation.

Lindsay and Michelle discuss how you can share your thoughts in an impromptu manner.

Listen in today.

Impromptu English

Lindsay asks Michelle if she has ever had to make an impromptu speech.

Michelle answers yes because she is a theater person and has done many improv performances early on in her career.

She also shared that she does impromptu stuff as well for the All Ears English podcast.

Despite all the planning done for each recording, there are spontaneous moments and English tips she can share.

  • impromptu: being put on the spot or doing something without having to plan beforehand

Impromptu speeches can be done in many situations such as:

  • in a meeting
  • introducing someone
  • a toast at a work or social event

Lindsay and Michelle will share more about this in today’s episode.

Preparation and impromptu speeches

It can be really scary to do an impromptu speech.

Standing in front of many people and speaking is not an easy task.

Here are some tips and tricks from Michelle and Lindsay for you to nail impromptu speeches, especially in the workplace.

#1: Always be prepared

It is counterintuitive that you have to be prepared for an on-the-spot speech, but it is true.

You need a little bit of knowledge in general on what you’re going to talk about.

For example, if you have to introduce yourself, try and make a quick outline of certain things you want to share.

It’s vital to have a way to transition and conclude your talk.

This will help you relax a bit and create more direction for you when you start speaking.

You can listen to AEE 1789: 3 Strategies for Nerves During Business English Presentations to help you more on this topic.

Lindsay recommends to check out Think Fast Talk Smarter by Matt Abrahams.

He focuses on spontaneous speaking so it’s helpful for anyone who wants to improve on their speaking.

#2: Practice your skills

You can practice with your friend or speaking partner and make a game out of it.

This is similar to doing improv.

You can write topics on several pieces of paper and then draw one paper out of the hat and talk about that topic.

This helps get you comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Any skill is like a muscle that you are trying to hone to be stronger each time.

Impromptu speaking tips

Here are other tips that can help you be better at impromptu speeches:

  • Stay calm. Always breathe and try to focus.
  • Choose three keywords related to the topic and build out what you need to say
  • If you can take some notes, just write the main points. It doesn’t have to be perfect with linking words. Remember to focus on main words.
  • Be present. Everyone knows impromptu speeches can be uncomfortable so don’t worry about what they’ll think about what you say. Focus on saying what you need to say and make a connection to your audience without worrying about perfection.


Being put on the spot in front of a large audience is scary.

However, a lot can be done to prepare in advance for impromptu speech.

Be present in the moment and do your best even if you’re not given time to prepare.

Have you ever given an impromptu speech?

Share your story in the comments below.

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