How To Give A Quick Impromptu Speech Or Toast!
January 13, 2016
Most people would agree that the idea of speaking in front of large groups of people can be terrifying, and so we tend to avoid it whenever possible. There are times, however, when we are faced with the task and there's no running away: we must say a few words. The following is a template for success which you can use when it's your turn to speak, in just about any type of gathering, formal or informal.
1. The Greeting
The greeting is the easy part. You begin by simply wishing your audience a good morning, afternoon, evening, or whatever time of day it is. **Good* evening everybody...*
2. State the Event
"As we all know..."
The second part is also very easy: You simply state the obvious and remind everybody what the purpose of the event or celebration is, and what you're all doing there. **As we all know,* we're here to celebrate the marriage of John and Kate, and to show them our support as they begin their journey of love and life together...* Now you've got the ball rolling, and the words are coming out easily. You look like you know what you're doing up there, and people are listening. So now, it's time to....
3. Establish Common Ground
It's important to include your audience as part of the message you're delivering. Talk about something both yourself and your audience can relate to regarding the event or celebration. **We've all* had the wonderful opportunity to get to know John and Kate and enjoy watching their love develop...*
4. State Why You're Speaking
Include a personal account, or tell a brief story to let people know why you specifically are talking. What gives you the right to be speaking..? **I've* personally been very lucky to have John as a close friend of mine, and it's been quite amazing to watch how he's grown as a person, and couldn't be more pleased for him to have found someone like Kate to go about his life with...*
5. Call for Action
"So let's all..."
Finally, close your speech with a call for action. This lets everybody know that you're finished without you having to awkwardly say "That's it!" or "I'm finished, thank you"...that is how every weak speech is concluded and makes the audience uncomfortable. You should say something like **"So let's all* raise a glass to John and Kate, and wish them well. Cheers!" or, So Let's all give a big round of applause to Mark for the outstanding job he's done while working with the company"*
Obviously, there are many different ways these leading lines can be used, but if you can commit them to memory and be prepared to use them next time you might be asked to speak, you will let go of all fear and anxiety, and people will be SO impressed with your ability to get up and give a confident, fluent speech in front of a group of people, while looking like you didn't even have to prepare! Good luck, and happy public speaking!
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