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Chapter 23. Speaking Off-the-Cuff > Know Your Stuff - Pg. 192

Speaking Off-the-Cuff 192 Class Act When you prepare for an impromptu speech during someone else's presentation, concentrate not only on the speakers but also on the room and the conference theme. You'll need to keep these in mind as well. · Then, in 1647, using the name Peter Stuyvergoldsmith, he arrived to take over the city. At the time, he found that 18 different languages were being spoken--obviously there were fewer taxi drivers then--and so he immediately started printing translation guides. · The next time we find information about Peter appears to be 1898, the time of his first trip to the Caribbean. According to accounts, Peter was seen rushing up San Juan Hill waving his Amer- ican Express Gold Card and shouting "Charge!" Teddy Roosevelt was unimpressed with Peter during this time and refused to rename the island Peter Rico . · You've all heard the stories about John D. Rockefeller walking around New York and handing out dimes. Well, Peter decided to outdo him by handing out dollar bills. Unfortunately, Peter had printed those bills himself. The speech was a smash hit. On-the-Spot Organization Now that you know what you're going to talk about, here's a never-fail method for organizing an impromptu speech: 1. 2. 3. State the point you're making. Remember, you only get one central idea. Support you point with appropriate examples. Summarize and restate your point. Encores and Exits Some talented speakers are not above resorting to tricks to make their speeches seem less rehearsed. One such story concerns the late New York Mayor Jimmy Walker. A journalist once saw Walker dazzle an audience by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I arrived here this evening with some written remarks, but I've decided to discard my prepared speech and speak to you from the heart." With that, Walker balled up the paper he had been holding and tossed it aside. He went on to deliver an electrifying speech. After Walker and his entourage had left, the journalist picked up the discarded "speech" and looked at it. The paper was nothing more than an advertisement. Walker had spoken from memorized remarks freshened with observations he had made about the people, theme, and event. And so can you. This method of organizing is a speech is nothing fancy--in fact it's the tried-and-true method of organizing a speech you've learned earlier in this book. Memorize this method, and you'll always have a framework upon which to arrange your remarks--even if you're on the spot.