How would you cope if you arrived at an event to be told the speaker hadn’t turned up, and asked if you could fill in for them? Oh, and by the way, you’re on in 5 minutes.

This may not have happened to you … yet…but let’s face it, it could happen at some point in your career and how brilliant would it be to know you’d be able to handle it – without running from the room hysterically or pretending you’ve passed out?

For most people the thought of having to give a talk – any talk, not just one at short notice – can feel really, well, unpleasant – all that adrenaline to manage – and the thought of not having any time to prepare it – is really the icing on the adrenaline cake.

This is when my ‘5-Minute Method’ can be a lifesaver.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1:             Identify your main point – the key message you want to get across?’

Step 2:             Find a ‘Three’ to support your message.  It can be three words, three phrases, past/present/future – why/what/how

Step 3:             Think of your Open & Closing sentence

  • A starting sentence to engage your audience
  • A closing sentence to sum up what you want people to do, know, or remember

Now you have the structure, you can use this to prepare something to say whenever you need to… and better still if you have semi-prepared something you can adapt it to suit the situation you find yourself in – whether it is being asked to comment in a meeting or say a few words at an event… whatever it is.

I would suggest that you are always be semi-prepared – so you would be able to cope ok – because if you are semi-prepared, you will have had a lot longer than 5 minutes to think about what you can say – but can sound like it is an impromptu ‘few words’.

It’s like that semi-baked bread you pop in the oven – it’s all there – ready, just needs a bit of heat.

So next time you have to “say a few words” You will have a few words to say…

If you want to improve your online presentations or public speaking skills you can book a ‘Discovery Call’ with Caroline Hopkins to find out more about how she can help you to enhance your skills during lockdown.