An impromptu speech is a speech that is not planned or written in advance. The speaker has to think on their feet and come up with something compelling to say, often in a very short amount of time.
It is usually given in response to a prompt, such as a question from an audience member or a topic that has been provided at events such as Toastmasters and debating competitions.
You might also have to deliver an impromptu speech in social settings, such as parties or gatherings. If you are at a party and someone asks you to give a toast, you can deliver an impromptu speech. If you are at a wedding reception, where you’re the best man or maid of honor, you may be asked to say a few words.
Impromptu speeches can be challenging to deliver because you have limited time to prepare and you may not be familiar with the topic. But it is one of the best ways to overcome the fear of public speaking. The best impromptu speeches are usually short, so try to keep yours under 5-8 minutes.
Tips for choosing an impromptu speech topic
Here are a few tips to help you choose an impromptu speech topic:
- Choose a topic that you are familiar with: This will help you feel more comfortable when speaking and make it easier to come up with points to support your argument.
- Make sure the topic is interesting: If you are bored by the topic, chances are your audience will be too. Choose something that is controversial or thought-provoking to keep your audience engaged.
- Avoid topics that are too personal unless necessary: Stick to topics that are general and can be related to the majority of people in your audience. Save the personal stories for later.
- Choose a positive story: Negativity is a downer, so try to choose a topic that is uplifting or at least neutral. You want your audience to leave feeling good, not worse.
Tips for delivering an impromptu speech
Typically, you have around 30 seconds to a minute to prepare for an impromptu speech. Here are some tips to help you deliver a successful impromptu speech:
- Choose a topic that you are passionate about: When you are passionate about the topic you’re going to speak about, it will come through in your voice and mannerisms. This will help you make your impromptu speech more dynamic and interesting. Your audience will be able to sense your enthusiasm and get them engaged.
- Keep it simple: Don’t try to cram too much information into your impromptu speech. Choose one main point and stick to it. This will make it easier for you to stay on track and ensure that your audience understands what you’re saying.
- Prepare quickly: While you don’t have a lot of time to prepare for your impromptu speech, it is important to have a general understanding of your topic before you deliver it. Try to get a feel for the flow and structure of your speech in your head. This will help you to think on your feet and respond to questions from the audience, as well as give you the opportunity to iron out any kinks.
- Start strong: Grab your audience’s attention from the very beginning with an interesting opening line. This will set the tone for the rest of your speech and ensure that people are listening to what you have to say. A little bit of humor can help ease the tension and engage your audience from the start. Just be careful not to offend anyone!
- Speak slowly: Nerves can make you speak quickly, but try to slow down and take deep breaths. This will help you project your voice and control the tempo of your speech.
- Use Gestures: Gestures can help emphasize your points and make you appear more confident. If you find a visual aid around you that’s suitable, use it as a prop. Just don’t overdo it!
- Engage your audience: Throughout your impromptu speech, try to engage your audience as much as possible. Ask questions, use humor, and make eye contact. This will keep people interested in what you’re saying and make them more likely to remember your message.
- Conclude with an important message: End your impromptu speech on a high note with a powerful conclusion. This will leave your audience with a positive impression of you and your talk.
- Follow up: After your impromptu speech, be sure to follow up with any questions or comments from the audience. This shows that you are interested in their feedback and willing to engage in further discussion.
Easy Impromptu Speech Topics
1. The worst-case scenario.
2. What I would do with a million dollars.
3. My first car.
4. The best day of my life.
5. A time when I was extremely embarrassed.
6. My biggest fear.
7. The most interesting place I have ever been.
8. If I could have any superpower, what would it be?
9. The best/worst gift I have ever received.
10. A time when I had to face a difficult situation.
11. If I could be anyone for a day, who would it be?
12. My favorite childhood memory.
13. Something that I am passionate about.
14. A time when I had to overcome a challenge.
15. The best/worst vacation I have ever taken.
16. A time when I made a fool of myself.
17. If I could go back in time, what would I change?
18. A person who has had a significant influence on my life.
19. My biggest accomplishment.
20. My biggest failure.
21. A time when I was treated unfairly.
22. A hobby or interest that I have.
23. Something that I am afraid of.
24. A time when I had to make a difficult decision.
25. The best/worst job I have ever had.
26. My favorite/least favorite subject in school.
27. A time when I was proud of myself.
28. A time when I was disappointed in myself.
29. An event that changed my life.
30. A time when I helped someone.
31. A time when I was helped by someone.
32. A place that I have always wanted to visit.
33. My favorite/least favorite food.
34. My favorite/least favorite season.
35. My favorite/least favorite animal.
36. Something that I am good at.
37. Something that I am bad at.
38. My favorite/least favorite movie.
39. My favorite/least favorite book.
40. My favorite/least favorite TV show.
41. A time when I was really angry.
42. A time when I was really happy.
43. A time when I was really scared.
44. Something that made me laugh.
45. Something that made me cry.
46. A time when I was really frustrated.
47. A time when I was really bored.
48. A goal that I have.
49. A New Year’s resolution that I have made (and kept).
50. Something that I am looking forward to in life.
Hard Impromptu Speech Topics
1. The pros and cons of social media
2. The rise of populism around the world
3. The impact of climate change on our generation
4. Technology addiction and its effect on our mental health
5. Should wealthy nations do more to help refugees?
6. Is a college education worth the cost?
7. Are we becoming too reliant on technology?
8. Should the legal drinking age be raised?
9. Is our society too materialistic?
10. Are we doing enough to protect the environment?
11. The controversial issue of abortion
12. Should capital punishment be abolished?
13. Is there too much pressure on young people to succeed?
14. The mental health crisis among young people
15. The problem of fake news
16. Is our education system preparing students for the real world?
17. Are we becoming too reliant on artificial intelligence?
18. Should genetic engineering be regulated?
19. The ethical implications of cloning
20. Should animals be used for scientific research?
Impromptu Speech Topics for Middle School Students
1. A time when you had to stand up for yourself.
2. A time when you had to stand up for someone else.
3. A time when you made a difficult decision.
4. A time when you faced a challenge.
5. A time when you were proud of yourself.
6. A person who has inspired you.
7. A place that is special to you.
8. A memory that makes you smile.
9. An event that changed your life.
10. Something that you are passionate about.
11. A hobby or interest that you have.
12. A time when you overcame a fear.
13. A lesson that you have learned in life.
14. A goal that you are working towards.
15. A person who has had a positive impact on your life.
16. A time when you were proud of someone else.
17. Something that you are grateful for.
18. A time when you faced a difficult situation.
19. A challenge that you are currently facing.
20. A decision that you made that you are proud of.
Impromptu Speech Topics for College Students
1. What was your most embarrassing moment?
2. What is your favorite TV show and why?
3. What would you do if you were president for a day?
4. How do you study for exams?
5. Who is your hero and why?
6. What are your thoughts on love and relationships?
7. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
8. What is your take on beauty and standards of attractiveness?
9. Do you think college is worth the investment?
10. What are your thoughts on failure?
11. What do you think about change?
12. Are you a risk-taker?
13. Do you think people can truly change?
14. How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
15. What are your thoughts on success?
16. Do you have any fears or phobias?
17. What is your favorite memory?
18. What are your thoughts on time management?
19. What do you think about procrastination?
20. What is your opinion on technology and its impact on society?
Impromptu Speech Topics for High School Students
1. What was your most embarrassing moment?
2. What are your thoughts on love?
3. What is your favorite memory?
4. Who is your hero and why?
5. What would you do with a million dollars?
6. What is your biggest fear?
7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
8. What are your thoughts on failure?
9. What makes you happy?
10. What is the meaning of life?
11. Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?
12. What are your thoughts on religion?
13. Do you think people can change?
14. What is your view on politics?
15. What is art?
16. What is beauty?
17. What is the most important thing in life?
18. What do you think happens after death?
19. Do you think people are capable of goodness?
20. What does it mean to be human?