Public Speaking on Short Notice

English: Jojit speaking at the Y4IT event. Top...

Preparing for a Presentation on Short Notice

One of the key requisites of a successful presentation is to be prepared. But sometimes, you may be asked to talk about something on a short or no notice at all. While unplanned speeches or presentations can be quite challenging, making the best use of any time that is available, even a few minutes, helps you present effectively. Here is what you should do in case of last minute public speaking requests.

Consider the topic and the purpose

First of all, give some thought to the idea or topic you would be presenting. Then think about how best it can be presented – with examples, a story, demonstration, using comparisons etc. The purpose of the presentation is another thing you should keep in mind. Do you have to give your opinion about something, introduce a new idea, or just make an informal speech about the event? Whatever the aim is, be clear about why you are making the presentation.

List down the points

Try to jot down a few points about what you want to say on a small piece of paper. By doing so, you can ensure that you don’t miss or deviate from the important points. Also, the amount of ground you cover on the subject should be in consideration with the time you are given for the speech. As far as possible, it is best to keep the presentation small and avoid speaking for too long.

Structure the presentation

Creating a quick outline of what you are going to say and how you are going to say it will help you deliver the idea better. So when you list down the points, ensure that they are in the same order as you want to deliver them. Also, be clear about how you are going to open and end your speech.

Present it in your own style

You give your best when you are your natural self. So use your presentation skills that can help you deliver the idea in an effective way. For instance, you could use a bit of humor in the speech, if you are a naturally witty person. Otherwise, you could be straightforward and give your opinion or observation without trying to hurt other people’s sentiments about the subject.

Relax and be confident

Ad hoc public speaking requests can make even the most experienced speakers nervous. To avoid blanking out in front of your audience, it is good to take a couple of minutes to relax and focus. Even if you are not an expert in the topic, speaking confidently can help you make the desired impact on the audience.


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9 Responses to Public Speaking on Short Notice

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: Elaine Hirsch | Angela Maiers Educational Services, Inc.

  2. Sal Delariva says:

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I definitely liked reading everything that is written on your blog.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  3. joseph says:

    notice on public speaking

  4. Pingback: No Fear Public Speaking Tips for Writers | The Neophyte Writer

  5. Great article! Excellent overview of most of the major considerations in preparing a speech. The only thing I would include is audience analysis. Along with topic and purpose, consider who you will be addressing. This will impact how you illustrate and deliver your message.

    I’ll be sharing!

  6. Ron Hudson says:

    Great point about taking a moment to relax. At the very beginning take a deep breath, maybe a drink, and ask how everyone is doing(retorical). This puts me and the audience at ease. We naturally mirror the emotions and expressions of others. If you the speaker are nervous and uncomfortable then your audience will feel nervous and uncomfortable- Hardly a complementary atmosphere to sharing ideas.

    • Podium Pro says:

      Well said Ron. The other day I was watching a comic special on “hecklers”. It was an awesome example of how the comics handled the hecklers, most of the time. The comics reaction had an immediate impact on the crowd and the mood in the room. If handled well, like you pointed out, a confident and clever speaker can control the mood ion the room!
      (Ron, email me and I’ll add you to our “VIP” List. Basically we are selecting 50 people (all will be our early adopter types) to give the App “Podium Pro” away free. It will be $9.99 on the App Store for those that don’t make the list)

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