How to Teach IMPROMPTU SPEECHES in Form Three

How to Teach IMPROMPTU SPEECHES in Form Three

Form Three 


On the Sub Topic; Participating in debates, dialogues, interviews, impromptu speeches, and discussions- Part 2.

(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )

UNIT 3:3:  Part 2.

2. Sub Topic 1: Participating in debates, dialogues, interviews, impromptu speeches, and discussions.
3. Periods per sub topic: 16.
4: Class: Form Three.


The objective of this sub topic is to help students be able to express opinions, ideas, and views orally.
Here, a teacher does not need to write much. He/she only needs to make students speak, and through speaking help them learn how to apply correct English sentences as well as how to connect ideas and learn or master the content being delivered in the subject matter.
This sub topic explores four major aspects:
  •  Dialogues.
  •   Discussions.
  • Interviews.
  •  Impromptu speeches, and
  • Debates.

In this Part 2 of this Sub Topic, the following aspect will be covered:
  •   Impromptu speeches


Activity 1: Brainstorming with students
A teacher should be familiar with the terms used in impromptu speeches. This will help a teacher to brainstorm well and interactively with the students.

The term ‘impromptu’ is an adjective which means ‘something done without being planned, organized, or rehearsed’. Impromptu speeches are good examples.

Impromptu speaking by definition is a speech and debate individual event that involves a five-to-eight-minute speech characterised by short preparation time of one to seven minutes (Wikipedia).

So as to bring natural environments for students to talk and interact with real settings, impromptu speeches or speaking activities are encouraged to the students. These speeches make them be able to adapt to various situations when they are needed to use English language without any prior preparations.

Brainstorming with students.
As a teacher, it is always a best idea to brainstorm with the students about the term ‘impromptu speech’ first. Share their ideas on the term and give more clarifications on the term and how it is applied in learning English language.
This is the time to tell them that, these are speaking activities that involve   giving speeches on various topics without making preparations. The students should be told how these speaking activities are monitored and conducted. They should be told that these speaking activities are presented between 5 to 8 minutes, and at least 1 to 7 minutes can be given for preparation.


The main objective of Impromptu speeches is to make students able to present facts/ideas logically and fluently within a short time of preparation. The impromptu speaking activities can be delivered in the following procedures. A teacher can guide the students as follows:
  1. To form pairs.
  2.  A teacher can put the cards he/she has prepared on the table. Each card can have its own topic or subject matter. For example, one card can read: Why we should study?, etc.
  3. Then a teacher can allow one student in each pair or to come in front and pick the card. The topic each one find in the card will be presented by him or her.
  4. Now, a teacher can give the students preparation time from 1 up to 7 minutes.
  5. Finally, students can start to present, starting with one student who picked a card in each pair regarding the time that has been set.
  6. Students should be reminded to observe the phrases to be used like; in fact; due to the fact that; in conclusion; logically, in my point of view; in this case; however, and other transition words like these.
  7. Apart from these pairs, a teacher can let students present impromptu speeches individually or in groups if he/she sees it is going to be manageable.

Connecting impromptu speaking activities with literature helps the students to be able to master the content in literature and improve their public speaking skills.
This can be done as follows:
Choosing topics or subject matters from studied literary texts. This makes the students to be more interacted with the works of arts. For example, instead of choosing other topics, a teacher can chose topics from literary texts to be discussed and presented by the students with or without preparations. For example, the following literary works can produce various topics like:
§  Why HIV/AIDS is referred to as a ‘Slim’? – in Passed Like a Shadow.
§  Show how HIV/AIDS is a killer of dreams. – in Passed Like a Shadow.
§  Lacking knowledge is a way to downfall – in Passed Like a Shadow.
§  How alcoholism accelerate irresponsibility – in Passed Like a Shadow.
§  Is prostitution a lawful business? Why? – in Passed Like a Shadow.
§  And many more topics from a variety of literary works.

Why it is important to connect impromptu speeches with literature. This is important because students’ ability to express themselves with fluent English language will go hand in hand with mastery of the contents in specific literary texts.


A teacher may conduct Impromptu Contest by letting students compete individually or in groups. This will integrate students in the show. A teacher can monitor the contest by playing 5 rounds.
Key Players and Procedures.
  •  Impromptu speaker. This is a speaker who has to pick a card and with only five minutes to draw a topic, prepare, and then present a well-developed three to five minute persuasive speech to a judge.
  •  Impromptu Judge. The judge can be a student or a teacher. The judge will listen to the speakers and evaluate their speaking skills. The judge will rank students with first place being the best speaker, second place being the next best speaker, and so on.
  •  Proctor. This is the teacher or a selected student who conducts the draw for topics and calls when speakers are to go to their judges to give their impromptu speeches.
  • Speaking Position. The impromptu speaker is assigned when he will speak based upon his seat number in each row. The person sitting in the first seat is speaker 1, the second seat speaker 2, etc.
  • Draw. The impromptu speaker walks to the proctor’s table and choose one card in the envelope of various cards. The student quickly chooses one topic, tells the topic number to the proctor, and returns to his or her seat to prepare an impromptu speech.

Preparation and Delivery of Impromptu Speeches.
The impromptu speaking activities now can follow the following steps:

  1.  Secret envelope. In this envelope there can be five envelopes each with cards of different topics or each envelope should have pieces of cards according to the number of contestants. It is opened and each student picks one randomly. He/she reads topic number and seat number, the he/she goes to his/her respective seat to get prepared in five minutes.
  2. Proctor starts to call each one of the student with a card and according to their seat number.
  3.  Time keeper prepares himself/herself for the activity.
  4.  Each student who is called should go to the Judge, a teacher or a selected student where students will go and deliver their impromptu speeches.
  5.  Each student’s performance will be marked in front of his/her name in the teacher’s or judge’s assessment paper. (See How Scores are Distributed below).
  6.  When the first round is over, the proctor opens another envelope and students pick their cards. The process is continued until all five rounds are finished.
  7.  At the end of fifth round, students are given their scores, and they can be told to pick one topic among of those five topics. He/she should write a written speech on the topic of his/her choice.

  1. How Scores or Points are Distributed to the Impromptu speakers during the Competition.
(A)Delivery Skill Vocabulary
(i)                Poise. 2 score for each student who exhibits confidence, maintains excellent posture, use of strong facial and body language when communicating ideas.

(ii)             Sustained Eye Contact. 2 score for a student who pauses and looks eye to eye at each listener for several seconds, moves around the podium, and uses these techniques throughout the speech.

(iii)           Vocal Variety. 2 score will be given to a student who applies audible voice, attract attention, varies the speaking rate, and pitch of voice to engage the listeners.
(iv)           Relevance in content. 2 scores will be awarded to the student who is delivering the relevant content according to his or her topic.
(v)             Conclusion. 2 scores will be awarded when a student has a good wind up of the speech, and relevant wind up is good.

(B) Impromptu Speech Content Delivery

(i)                Introduction Attention Step. 2 scores for good attention getting devices such as rhetorical question, a story, a quotation, or any other creative method.

(ii)             Impromptu Thesis Statement. 2 scores will be awarded to a student who will show the correct first response to the impromptu speech question that requires a student to answer yes or no ( or agree or disagree).

(iii)           Summary Transition. 2 scores can be awarded to the speaker who maintains speech coherence, that is, he/she briefly reviews the previous point and then introduces the next point. Also the use of correct transition words.

(iv)           Supporting Details. 2 scores will be given to the student who uses supporting details, facts, data, stories, statistics, analogies, examples, testimonies, quotations, and definitions that support the points.

(v)             Concluding Round-off. 2 scores can be awarded to a student who concludes the speech well by referring to the story, rhetorical question, the quotation, or the creative method.

  •       Last, all participants and students will reflect on their impromptu speaking skills and judging experience as they write a self-reflection speech/report.
  •      Self-reflection also involves a speaker to analyse an impromptu speech in terms of topic choice, the preparation, the content, and the delivery. The speaker also should reflect upon the strengths, weaknesses, and give suggestions for improvement.
  •        In a paragraph the student should analyse the impromptu speech experience by thinking about the topic choice, the preparation, the content, and the delivery. The speaker should reflect upon the strengths, weaknesses, and give suggestions for improvement.
6: CONNECTION: Beyond the Sub Topic.
This sub topic will help students to:
  •   Brainstorm topics of interest.
  •   Present a 1-3 minute impromptu speech.
  •   Develop presentation skills.
  •   Evaluate other speeches while working cooperatively within small groups.
A good impromptu speaker is able to give quick overview of the topic using polished or good public speaking skills and techniques.
Through using this enjoyable contest learning strategy, students should become more productive oral communicators by using their impromptu speaking skills in a student-centred learning community.

7: NOTE: It is good for the teacher to observe students while they are practicing in their groups. He or she can take note of students who seem to be "quick thinkers" and those who experience difficulty.
Impromptu speeches are effective ways of improving students’ ability to speak and listen. If these speeches are used regularly at least one per week, students can be able to speak fluent and grammatical English. In addition, students can improve their confidence in speaking English in the class, at school parades, with friends, at home, in the streets, and in more formal public places like meetings.

Check out how to Study & Teach other Form Three Sub Topics in this Blog!
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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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