Impromptu Speaking - Sphelhteri Technique

Suppose the topic is ‘Television and Modern Society’. Imagine this topic. Close your eyes for half-a-minute and think. What all can you say about ‘television’?

An average speaker on the stage will first imagine the television for two seconds. Then, the speaker will recall the moments spend with the electronic box. Some ideas like ‘it helps us to watch soap operas’, ‘it keeps us entertained’ and ‘it is harmful as it can be addictive’ will come to mind. The speaker may, in fact, also come up with some metaphors like ‘eye to the world’ and ‘idiot box’ for television. But the content will mostly revolve around the several experiences with the device.

Making Average Content Sound Fantastic

The trick to crack non-abstract topics is to think of the topic from various angles. These different angles can be unrelated to each other. Think of how television impacts the society, think how it affects a person’s health, move over to educational purpose of television and then, you can end with the technological revolution it has brought.

As you see, it’s not so tough to think of content for speech on non-abstract topics. But how do you remember all the various aspects you need to talk about?

Here is the tool for it. Remember the acronym: SPHELHTERI

Wondering what it exactly is? Let’s end the mystery. This is what it stands for −

  • S: Social

  • P: Political

  • H: Historical

  • E: Educational

  • L: Legal

  • H: Hygiene

  • T: Technology

  • E: Environmental

  • R: Regional/National

  • I: International

When faced with a non-abstract topic in group discussions, or debates or panel discussions, go through each letter in the acronym. It is not important to adhere to the serial order of the letters; the speaker is free to touch upon ‘R’ before ‘S’. But having this acronym handy can help the speaker to come up with excellent content for a speech and will also help the speaker to add value to the listener.

As you are given a topic, think along these nine parameters. Each parameter will help you develop the content for the topic better. Let’s begin with our topic ‘Television and modern society’. First, try to define the words. There are three primary words here, viz. ‘television’, ‘modern’ and ‘society’. Define each one of them.

“In today’s world that is obsessed with electronic gadgets and lives in an era of electronics, televisions are an elixir for survival.”

This sets the context of the speech. Now, move to each parameter slowly with proper transitions.