The thought of giving a presentation is intimidating for most people. This fear and anxiety can be somewhat diminished when the presenter has plenty of time to practice and prepare. What happens, however, when there is not time to prepare? What do you do when you are asked to speak without notice? This can make even the most seasoned presenters very nervous.
If you are a business professional, there will probably come a time when you are asked to speak with only a moment’s notice. In order to be successful in these types of situations, you must have a strategy to help calm your nerves and collect your thoughts. Despite your anxiety, you need to be able to effectively communicate your message. While it may seem terrifying, there are actually several benefits to giving an impromptu presentation.
You Gain Credibility
Anyone can give a presentation on just about any topic if they have time to research it and prepare. It can be easy to deceive your audience and make them believe that you are an expert on the topic. Conversely, if you are asked to speak on the spot about something, you better be sure you know what you are talking about. When people can give impromptu presentations, they immediately gain credibility and the trust of their audience.
They Are Natural
One of the biggest challenges for a presenter is refraining from reading to the audience. When they have time to prepare, most presenters will put together a slideshow and read the bullet points. It can end up being very boring and unauthentic. Impromptu presentations, on the other hand, are more spontaneous and sound natural, which keeps the audience engaged and listening. It feels more like a conversation than a presentation.
It Allows for Audience Interaction
Oftentimes when a speaker has had time to prepare their presentation, they are so focused on getting it all in that they forget to involve the audience. Impromptu presentations are more flexible, therefore allowing for more audience interaction. The speaker can involve audience members in the presentation or answer questions in the middle of the presentation to ensure the audience understands the topic.
It is Relevant
One of the biggest advantages of an impromptu presentation is that it allows for anecdotes or short stories that are current and relevant and may have occurred just moments before the speaker began. For example, the speaker may use quotes, stories, or examples that were mentioned by previous speakers. They may include information and content that has just been discussed at the beginning of the meeting.
While there is really no way to prepare for an impromptu presentation, it’s important to take a deep breath, relax, and remember that it, too, has its benefits. People who can speak off the cuff and deliver impromptu presentations will earn the trust and respect of their boss and colleagues.