Often, when people are asked to speak unprepared or off the cuff, they end up beating around the bush, dodge questions, sound like a broken record or sound like they don’t know the answer. Many of us don’t realise the importance of off-the-cuff speaking until it becomes a recurring problem at work, job interviews, meetings or even in our day-to-day life.
Being able to think and speak off the cuff effectively is an important skill that everyone should learn. Effective and confident speaking off the cuff enables you to create:
- Confidence: Many people faced with difficult questions or unexpected speaking requests struggle and exhibit nerves and uncertainty. Because you rise confidently and respond with poise and structure your audience and peers will see you as being confident.
- Reliability: You will be seen as a go to person, the one that always has an idea, opinion or recommendation worth listening to. Because you are good at off the cuff responses you will be seen as effective and reliable in critical situations and your views will be sought. You may be the person sent to negotiate or deal with a difficult situation because you effective at off the cuff speaking.
- Credibility: You will earn your audiences respect when you respond confidently, especially when given difficult questions. Credibility comes from confident and credible responses while remaining calm while under pressure. Giving good, concise and appropriate answers to questions, when asked, adds to your credibility as an expert in that field. Failing or struggling to effectively answer a question may damager or dilute your credibility.
- Relationships: It is easier to build relationships because you can build rapport easily with others. Being good at off the cuff speaking allows you to network, connect and build those career and business relationships easily. We all have our elevator pitches, but when asked “what do you do” do you give a prepared monologue or an interesting response which piques curiosity. This is how you build relationships.