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Insights/Extempore Speaking

Extempore Speaking



What is ‘extempore speaking’?  It is what we all do in the pub over a glass of wine, where all the world’s problems can be put to rights in a few hours.  The words we speak are chosen at the point of delivery and they flow back and forth, with communication being two-way, three-way or four-way.  It is all done without any preparation (unless you are in the habit of taking that kind of conversation a bit too seriously). 

The key to extempore speaking is that the words spoken are chosen as we speak them, and what is delivered is a stream of consciousness that is fluent, erudite and articulate, while being unscripted.  Late on a Friday night it might be possible to hear a stream of consciousness but fluency, erudition and articulacy is another matter. In centuries past a parliamentarian may have had hours to speak on a subject, to an audience of peers from a similar education and background and who would listen for the required time: audiences today have changed.
 

Most speeches and other forms of presentation now are not delivered extemporaneously, even those that might be considered better than average. Often they are heavily scripted, and almost certainly laden with as much technology as possible: boring, read, PowerPoint-led. Those that are unrehearsed and unscripted can often be an unfocused ramble.
 

However, a formal presentation cannot be considered as a similar scenario to chewing the fat down the pub with your friends on a Friday night, when it matters little what the content of your chatter is, and they may not be listening in any event.
 

Therefore it is important to get something straight at the outset:  effective extempore speaking always has the purpose of the presentation and the impact on the audience at its heart.  This is something you will be fully aware of from your study of the Kissing With Confidence Method™. 
 

Fundamentally, you must always speak to the purpose or you are likely to be speaking to yourself.
 

If it is important to speak to the purpose and to consider carefully what effect you want to have on your audience, then the notion that it is possible to simply choose the right words at the point of delivery, without any kind of preparation, is at best naive and at worst disastrous.  Even the few who are capable of it will admit to significant preparation when the stakes are high.
 

Not only that, you have to consider how long to speak for.  In centuries past it was not uncommon for members of parliament to speak extemporaneously for up to 5 hours, with the House sitting for days at a time.  This is unacceptable today, where running over your allotted time is one of the best ways to turn your audience off.
 

Effective speakers, in their preparation, consider the audience at all times.  They ensure that they speak to the audience they have in front of them, rather than the audience they would like to have in front of them.
 

In addition, they listen to the audience throughout the presentation, and alter material accordingly and as necessary. 

 

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