Five Keys in Answering Impromptu Questions

What if one day, you will be asked by the CEO of your company about your stand regarding a company policy ? Or what if you are given the chance to answer the press for a stand in a particular issue, how will you handle it? Or what if you will be asked to answer an impromptu question for a pageant, are you going to answer, “World Peace”?

Every now and then people come to us and ask us questions or ask us about opinion on a certain subject matter and we normally we answer them casually and candidly without minding if our answer satisfies the question. Though this is an acceptable practice, there might be instances when you need to answer questions smartly and effectively and what I described above are just few of these instances.

There are many ways to answer impromptu questions and for this article, I will be talking about five techniques in effectively answering these questions:

1.       Preparation is key. There is no real impromptu answers to impromptu questions. There has to be a moment of preparation, about five to ten seconds, before you open your mouth and blabber about your answer. So before answering the question, take a little breather and think about the question then carefully craft an outline in your mind. Do not be pressured to answer the question immediately but rather think about the outline and stick to it.

2.       Intro-Body-Exit. All you need to think about is how you will begin your mini-speech and how you will end then draw a bridge that will connect your beginning from your ending and that will be now the body of the speech. Again, think about three things: Intro, Body, Ending.

Here is what you need to think about introduction, you need to start with a BANG,  and by a BANG, you need to surprise your audience and you can do this by asking mind-bugling questions to the audience or saying surprising and mysterious statement or simply start with a quote. The approach depends on the situation. The body of your mini-speech is the meat of your speech so make sure that you get to the point. And lastly, your speech must also end with a BANG and you can do that by maintaining the energy that was in your speech when you started.

3.       Get to the point. Impromptu speeches are designed for you to have a single point. So do not think of delivering four point speech because it will just confuse your audience, just have one point and stick with it. Get to the point, do not swerve from left to right but make sure that the body of your speech is on track with one point.

4.       Keep it short.  Answer the question briefly, a 1-2 minute answer should be fine. Do not give a thirty-minute sermon so you can explore the ramifications of your answer. Keep it simple, sweet, and short.

5.       Practice, practice, practice. These are no substitute for practice. You need to practice to clear you head before answering a question. You need to practice to think about your Intro,Body, and Exit. You need practice to start and end with a BANG. And you need to practice to get to the point and to keep things short and simple.


So there you have it the five effective ways in answering an impromptu question. I hope that the next time you talk with your CEO he or she will be left impressed with how you effectively you deliver your point by your answers.