Impromptu speaking tactics (Part 3)

Public speaking tips tick

The displacement method

Ok, so you’ve been asked to give your views on whether a North/South divide should be introduced into our country. You step up in front of your audience, and really can’t think of anything interesting to say beyond the word ‘yes’ (or possibly ‘no’!).

What now?

Now would be a good time to try the displacement method for impromptu speaking. Don’t give your opinion, give the opinion of someone who you feel might have much stronger views on the subject, someone your audience can relate to and most importantly someone you can speak on behalf of.

So, for our North/South divide example, you may wish to begin by saying: ‘I don’t have much of an opinion on this, but I can assure our royal highness, the Queen sure does!’.

From here, you can lengthen your answer to the question by explaining the Queen’s stand point on this and her reasoning behind it. If you begin to lose inspiration you might then switch to the opinion of someone else who has contrasting opinions to the Queen – perhaps Cheryl Cole (I’m sure she’d be against a North/South divide in the UK! – how would she get to all of those X-Factor auditions?!).

Giving your audience the opinion of someone with much stronger feelings on the topic will always provide you with more content and choosing a well-known celebrity will ensure that your audience can relate to your speech content – an important factor whether your speech is planned or impromptu!

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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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