speak off the cuff

speak off the cuff

To say something casually and spontaneously, without planning or preparation. (Hyphenated if used as an adjective before a noun.) I didn't have time to organize my thoughts, so I just spoke off the cuff. You could tell she had been speaking off the cuff, because she couldn't properly answer the questions reporters asked her at the end of the conference.
See also: cuff, off, speak
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

speak off-the-cuff

Fig. to speak without preparing a speech; to speak extemporaneously; to render a spoken opinion or estimate. (As if one's notes had been written hastily on one's cuff.) she is capable of making sense and being convincing even when she speaks off—the-cuff. I find it very difficult to speak off-the-cuff.
See also: speak
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
The unwritten rule: Speak off the cuff and you blunder.
Does she want to deny them the opportunity to prepare such tributes with love and care, and instead see a law brought in demanding people only speak off the cuff - thereby running the risk of missing out some important points in the process?
Responding to cheers the night before the dedication of the cemetery, Lincoln emerged from the Gettysburg house where he was staying, thanked the crowd, and half-apologetically said he had no speech prepared and didn't think it prudent to speak off the cuff. "In my position it is somewhat important that I should not say any foolish things," he observed.
The annual Installation Luncheon at the BevHills Hotel saw HFPA prexy Aida Takla-O'Reilly forced to speak off the cuff.
And it's much easier to make sure your syntax is in order when you don't have to speak off the cuff or respond to an interviewer's questions.
Darren Murphy, Weoley Castle * I MISS my favourite broadcaster's ability to speak off the cuff, in a funny manner about anything and everything.
He is a good enough orator that there is no need to cringe when he dares to speak off the cuff. He is a good politician, in the non-insulting sense that he knows how to speak to individual Americans and give them the feeling he cares about their concerns."
Don't count on your ability speak off the cuff (extemporaneously), and don't settle for one draft of writing.
Popes rarely speak off the cuff, and when they do, pulse rates in Vatican offices head for the sky.
Many have criticised the pair, who appear to speak off the cuff on topics raised by a studio audience, for working from a script.
In Aberdeen, he made the fatal mistake of dumping a sparkling speech to speak off the cuff - producing a rambling mess.
Appearing to speak off the cuff, he gave a stirring speech against library censorship: "Don't join the book burners....Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book, any document as long as it does not offend [y]our own ideas of decency." The nation could defeat communism, he said, only if citizens knew what it taught and why it had appeal.