Impromptu Speech

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Language Arts, Oral Language, Listening, Speaking

Grade 5- 8


Students will practice public speaking by giving short imprompt speeches.


The impromptu speech is an unprepared speech that one gives with spontaneity. It is often done when the speaker draws a topic--sometimes a silly one--and gives the speech off the top of his or her head. Each member of the class can supply one topic to put into the drawing. If preferred, the class may base their speeches on the topics suggested on page 15.
A speaker may prepare an impromptu speech by following the basic three-point speaker outline: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.

Notes on the Introduction
The introduction may be an attention-getting statement, joke, or anecdote. It is always a good idea for speakers to learn famous or well-known quotations, since these make great introductions. It is also possible to present a simple incident in a dramatic or storytelling format.
Example: A young child rummages through the garbage behind a grocery store. She pulls her thin jacket around her frail body and shivers against the cold. For her, this subject--hunger in America--is a harsh reality.
This introduction has accomplished several goals:

  • gotten the attention of the listener
  • personalized the subject
  • created sympathy for a presented need
  • provided an organizational tool to restate the need and develop a conclusion.
Notes on the Conclusion
When presenting a conclusion, refer back to the introduction.
Example: Feeding the hungry may hold little interest for the comfortable, but, to the child rummaging through garbage for provisions, it is of immediate interest today--and has an even graver impact on her tomorrows.


  • copies of the activity sheets (see the link below)

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