Impromptu speaking tactics (Part 2)

Public speaking tips tick

The Past, Present, Future method

This method is great for impromptu speaking where you have been asked a question (usually nothing too serious) and you need to fill-out your answer some what. I’ve found it’s also great for one-to-one conversations, if you find you are the person having to do all of the talking!

So, you could be asked: ‘What did you do for your birthday this year?

You would then proceed to tell the questioner what it was that you did this year (the present).

But where to next with this speech? You may find that you still have several minutes to fill.

Why not talk about your favourite birthday to date, or a birthday from your childhood (the past)?

If this birthday was your favourite, or a child’s birthday party with lots of jelly and ice cream and party games played, then you will find you have a lot to talk about!

Still running short of content? Then, you guessed it, lets talk about a future birthday party  – your ideal birthday.

This technique of past, present and future can be applied to lots of questions. In the workplace it can be used strategically. So many businesses base decision on historical data (past), current situation (present) and the desired situation (future) and so applying this technique to answering problems at work on the spot can be extremely useful too!

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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