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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
It was important for Nashashibi to have them speak off-the-cuff and for their dialogue to develop through the lens of experience.
In a 20-minute speech, Bachmann spoke of her economic know-how, ability to load a shotgun, and her ability to speak off-the-cuff.
President Zardari, grist to the laughter of the gods when he chooses to speak off-the-cuff, says that any attempt to subvert democracy will be foiled.