If students can’t get their message across quickly, they aren’t going to get it across at all.
- Fast Company, The Rules of Business

Speak Up

Did you know?

Impromptu speaking is one of the most important yet least practiced communication skills, and one our students need to improve according to today’s employers. Whether students are answering a question in class, speaking up at a job interview, or responding in a workplace meeting, being able to speak “off the cuff” is critical to their success. Toastmasters is a Professional Association that offers working professionals and students an opportunity to develop their speaking skills. Today’s activity introduces students to Toastmasters and an exercise they use to help members prepare to think on their feet.

Do this…

  • Ask your students a few questions.
    What does it mean to you when someone says:
    He can really think on his feet?
    She speaks well off-the-cuff?
    Our CEO is a great impromptu speaker?
  • Discuss suggestions students have for becoming better impromptu speakers.
  • Show Toastmasters site and meeting locations near your college.
  • View video.
  • Distribute Student Activity, review the directions and complete.
  • Give students an opportunity to share how they felt doing this exercise.

Get Real!

Encourage students to find a partner and together visit a Toastmaster Meeting. Consider awarding “extra” credit to students willing to give a 1-2 minute impromptu report to the class on their experience.