Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Think On Your Own Feet

Catyn Coburn


Students have one minute to prepare a one-minute impromptu speech on a topic that is randomly selected.


The student uses volume, stress, pacing, enunciation, eye contact, and gestures that meet the needs of the audience and topic.

The student applies oral communication skills to interviews, group presentations, formal presentations, and impromptu situations.


-Impromptu Assessment Rubric (see attached file)
-Note cards


1. Write appropriate topic ideas on note cards.
2. Photocopy the Impromptu Assessment Rubric.


-The student will understand the necessity for adequate volume, pitch, eye contact, appropriate gesture, posture, and enunciation when speaking to an audience.
-The student will learn how to think quickly and style their speech to the audience.

Authentic Context:
You are a school counselor who will discuss a problem facing young people today. You will be given a topic to discuss and only one minute in which to prepare your speech. You have a specific audience, so you should tailor your presentation accordingly.

1. Define impromptu speaking.
2. Discuss with students positive qualities of impromptu speaking including, but not limited to, volume, tone, pitch, eye contact, and appropriate gestures.
3. Brainstorm with students to compile a list of topics of interest; for example, music, athletics, curfews, drugs, parents, siblings, dating, best friends, driving.
4. Prepare note cards on individual topics that the students brainstormed.
5. Distribute copies of the Impromptu Assessment Rubric to the class; one copy for each speaker.
6. One student randomly selects “out of a hat” one of the note cards. The student is given an index card and one minute to prepare a one minute speech on the topic that is listed on the note card. The index card should be used to write down key words or phrases only.
7. Student presents the one minute speech to the class.
8. Student listeners will have one minute to complete an evaluation of the impromptu speech for each presenter using the criteria on the Impromptu Assessment Rubric. While the listeners are completing their assessments, another student should randomly select a topic and prepare for the next speech. (The student preparing for the next speech will not complete an evaluation of the previous speaker.) Continue in this manner until each student has presented a one minute impromptu speech.
9. Teacher completes evaluation of impromptu speaking for each presenter using the criteria on the Impromptu Assessment Rubric.
10. Teacher collects students’ evaluations after each student presentation. These will be returned to the speaker for review. (Teacher should check for inappropriate comments.)


The assessment is two-fold, peer assessment and teacher assessment, using the Impromptu Assessment Rubric provided in the attached file. Two copies are supplied on one sheet that can be cut in half.

Self Reflection:
As a -Ticket Out The Door”, students will reflect on what makes an oral presentation most interesting and why.


-Student will present, in person or via distance learning, a speech to an elementary, middle, or high school audience.
-Students will write an outline of the body of their speech. The introduction and conclusion will be in paragraph form.

Attached Files

The Impromptu Assessment Rubric.     File Extension: pdf

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