"It sometimes takes over 3 weeks to arrange an honest impromptu speech." ~ Samuel Langhorne Clemens
During the Winter Olympics, I watched an interview with Sage Kotsenburg, Gold Medal winner of the slope-style snowboarding event in the Winter Olympics. At one purpose, he said "I had speaking under pressure training no clue what I was going to do, even the day of the semis and the finals. I like changing it up a lot. I like just kind of making things different."

I thought, "Wow, he thought up all those unimaginable moves on the spot!" Upon further reflection, though, I realized what Sage was really saying. As a student of speaking, I know that no one ever stands up and has a brilliantly crafted presentation miraculously flow out of his/her mouth. Mark Twain, with his words above, brilliantly captured the essence of this idea.

The ability to eloquently share your thoughts, especially in impromptu situations, requires practice, evaluation, adjustments, and more practice. This is the only way you can reach the point where you don't need to think about what you're going to say, because you are in the moment, focused on your audience [whether there are one or one thousand people in front of you]. It takes a concerted effort to become an excellent impromptu presenter.

I believe that is what Sage Kotsenburg meant in his interview. There is no way he tried brand new routines, never-before practiced, on the biggest stage in the world, with Olympic Gold on the line. I'm convinced he had practiced his routines, or elements of them, for years. This rehearsal gave him the confidence to employ these 'new' moves on-the-spot.

With Gold on the line, he took years of practicing different routines and created a new program. The elements were NOT new - the order in which he presented them were.

If you are faced with impromptu speaking or selling opportunities, take a cue from this creative Olympic Gold medalist. Know the different parts of your presentation so well that you don't have to think about them. The only way to gain this skill is to practice, get feedback, make adjustments and repeat the process. Once you internalize your ideas, you'll gain confidence that whatever occurs, or no matter what is asked of you, you'll have the ability to change up and give the presentation the situation requires. That's when you will be able to shine when your gold medal moment presents itself.

Author's Bio: