off-the-cuff speaking

How To Improve Your Skill Of Speaking Off-The-Cuff

I just returned from a fun evening with people who belong to the “off-the-cuff” Toastmasters Club. They do precisely what the name of their Club suggests: speaking off-the-cuff, i.e., with little to no preparation. 

This particular Club meets monthly, and they rotate the location of their in-person meetings from one member’s house to another. This evening they had an open house. A dear member of my weekly Toastmasters Club in Southlake (TX) invited me. 

They offered me the opportunity to speak for 3-5 minutes about a surprise topic. I selected one topic out of the three I drew. The topic was “What was one of the bravest things you ever did?” I was given five minutes to prepare. I spoke about starting my own business, how I got to my decision to dare to do it, how things went and what I learned along the way. I went pretty well. It even was funny in parts.

Why Is Speaking Off-The-Cuff A Great Skill To Possess?

  • There are many occasions where off-the-cuff speaking is beneficial and provides opportunities; in business, in your non-profit, in your community, at a party – the list goes on.
  • You might want to produce videos to pass on what you know. Rather than having detailed notes on what to say, have much shorter bullets. Then off-the-cuff speaking skills help flesh out these bullets on the spot. (And, of course, if you foul up a passage, you can repeat it, better this time, and cut out the first attempt).

How Can You Improve Your Off-The-Cuff Speaking Skills?

How do you improve anything? 

Practice, of course. Of course, I joined the off-the-cuff Toastmasters Club! 🙂 

I’m Curious

How do you feel about off-the-cuff speaking?