Being able to deliver extempore is a public speaker’s strongest weapon! Coming up with material to talk, without preparation, or any script is truly a remarkable feat.
The 3 Wheels of Extempore Speaking
Understanding the relationship between the various parts of speech (prepositions, adverbs, conjunctions etc), Subject-Verb Agreement and keeping track of the new words learnt are a way of developing grammar and vocabulary. Remember, fluency is not limited to grammar. Practising to speak in the language is as important as grammar.
A Fluent speaker of the language is never afraid to make mistakes, as they can easily recover without getting conscious of a little error made. Recovering from an error is not difficult at all! Simply repeat the sentence correctly, excuse yourself and MOVE ON!
Never try to talk about thing you do not have any idea about. Limit your extempore to the fact that you possess and go on. If for any reason, you are not familiar with the topic in depth, talk about what you understand about the topic.
A very important lesson people forget while preparing to speak is to LISTEN! Preparation for any topic can only happen when you have understood the topic correctly, and that is only possible when you LISTEN to the topic given and the instructions provided!
The last wheel on this Auto-rickshaw is Structure. An extempore speech can be on any topic and for different time spans. The structure of any such speech is like a skeleton. The content acts like the organs and fluency acts like its muscles.
Any extempore speech should be structured in a way to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. The following structure is one of many to ensure the best results.
- Opening- Always try opening your extempore by grabbing the attention of the audience. A smart line, pithy observation or famous quote that is relevant is always a winner.
- Facts- Try sticking to 2 to 3 facts so that your extempore is not crowded, confusing, boring or hard to remember. Be SPECIFIC regarding the things you speak about. Being generic and talking, in general, is quite boring for the listeners. There will be no reason for the audience to remember you!
- Anecdote- An anecdote is a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature. Adding a personal touch to your extempore always makes you more relatable. How the topic affected you, or how it might affect you, makes the audience understand the topic faster!
- Closing- Ending with a bang! Let the earlier points you have made lead to the conclusion. Too many points can dilute the impact of your speech! Use Pauses to highlight the points and lead up to a great opening!
How to prepare for Extempore
To succeed in the extempore round, one needs to follow certain tips that can be proved very helpful in your extempore speech. Always remember that extempore speech is only delivered on a random topic given to you. Always remember to prepare previously used extempore topics. Practice makes a man perfect is not a mare phrase, but it always works, so one should always practice speaking on random topics.
Here’s some advice on how to give a good extempore speech:
• Know your direction. You’ve got to know how you want to deliver your speech before you actually speak. Should you go the serious, awe-inspiring route, or the hysterical, laugh-a-minute path? The best way you can make a decision is to get a quick feel for your audience. What type of people are they? What direction would they most accept? Your speech will be praised significantly more if you speak in a language that works with those listening.
• Prepare some backup. It isn’t uncommon to forget what you were going to say. What separates a good speech from a disaster is how well you can catch yourself. It’s good to have a backup plan for the times when your mind suddenly blanks. That way, if you’re caught without something to say, you can manoeuvre yourself out of that situation gracefully instead of gibbering and shaking in a nervous sweat. In serious situations, you can bail yourself out with a polite way of excusing yourself. If you’re going for laughs, it’s okay to be candid about your mental block.
• Plot a course. Before you speak, try to make a quick mental outline of what you want to say. Some of the worst speeches came out of people who didn’t take a moment to organize their thoughts before opening their mouths. Your outline doesn’t even have to be in-depth; all you really need is a guide to help keep your thoughts on track.
• Keep it short and sweet. Extempore speeches aren’t expected to be long, epic narratives. In fact, the more concise you get the better. A lot of people tend to hide their nerves and their being unprepared by using a lot of words. The problem is - they tend to miss the point when they do this. Speaking clearly and with as few words as possible shows confidence in your own opinions and that makes you a much better public speaker than those who just seem to rely on their wide vocabularies.
• Watch your words. Lastly, you’ve got to listen to yourself. You do not want to say something you’ll eventually regret. Some things might be private matters to others in the audience, or certain words can be offensive to others. Even the tone in which you speak affects the reception of your speech. Listen to the words that are coming out of your mouth to make sure you’re saying what you want your audience to hear.
Extempore Speaking in admission procedure:
The MBA extempore round is conducted in the following steps.
- Candidates are given a random topic by the interviewer. The topic can be related to anything -- social issues, current affairs, economy, abstract topics etc.
- The interviewer explains the time limit provided with the topic. Usually, 15 seconds are given to the candidate to gather their thoughts and 1 -2 minutes are given for the speech.
- Candidates can explore the topic in any way that they want and have to limit their speech to the given time limit.
Keep following Flow of Extempore Speech
•Grab a pen and a piece of paper
•Hijack the topic & make it your own
•Jot down interesting or significant points
•Feel free to acknowledge that you have not prepared for a speech
•Begin with your introductory sentence, elaborate it, and then start working your way to your ending sentence
•As you deliver your speech, concentrate on diction and tone
In a Nutshell
Extempore speech is a way to know and judge a person’s speaking skills, the flow of thoughts, way that you present your ideas. So always try to speak relevant to the topic and do not stretch it as one has a limited period to speak for the topic.
There is no perfect way to start an Extempore, but the mention below is one of the best ways to start an extempore:
- Start with a quote, real-life experience, or example.
- Always speak relevantly to the topic.
- If you remember any quantitative data about the topic, mention it to justify your points.
- Stick only to the topic.
- Be calm and composed.
- End with a positive note.
Do’s And Don’ts While Preparing for an Extempore
First think then speak
Do not get personal
Be calm and confident
Do not repeat thing you have said earlier
Add facts and figures