Secrets to Spontaneity in Speaking

Secrets to Spontaneity in Speaking
by Craig Valentine

  1. Think of a question you can ask your audience that is not rhetorical
  2. Write down some of the responses you think you will receive. This will get easier overtime because you’ll actually be receiving responses and you can pick up the most common answers.
  3. Construct replies for their most common responses.
  4. Test your replies on your new audiences
  5. Tweak your replies until they become short and humorous (if you desire humor in that moment).
P.S. Not all spontaneity involves a verbal response. Sometimes the very best spontaneous moments you can have simply involve a smile, facial expression, or gesture that lifts up and lightens a moment.

Three Caveats to Using Spontaneity?

  1. Know when not to leave your speech in search of spontaneity. While there are many moments when it helps to jump on the spontaneity, there are some moments when you should not. For example, don’t leave a dramatic scene of your story in order to have a spontaneous conversation with your audience. That is a time when you should simply plug ahead with your speech, because you don’t want to relieve the story’s tension until you’re ready to relieve it. If it’s dramatic, keep it dramatic until you’re ready to bring us back up with humor. Make sense?
  2. Try not to use so much spontaneity that it keeps you from ever finishing your message. That’s a sacrifice that will leave your audience disturbed. I have seen that happen to a speaker recently.
  3. Don’t force it. The spontaneous moments will occur in every speech you give. You just have to look for them. It might be something someone in your audience says or does, or it might simply be a mistake you can turn into humor. However, don’t force it. If it’s not there, it’s not there.