Four Types of Speech Delivery: Impromptu, Extemporaneous, Manuscript & Memorized

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  • 0:01 Choosing the Right…
  • 0:49 Impromptu Speeches
  • 2:05 Extemporaneous Speeches
  • 3:13 Manuscript Speeches
  • 4:05 Memorized Speech
  • 5:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

There are four ways in which a speaker can deliver his or her information. Once can speak from his head, commit every word to memory, read from a script or use a blended approach.

Choosing the Right Speech Delivery

So, you are asked to perform a speech before your graduating class. No biggie. Just get up on stage and speak your piece. People will love it. They may even throw roses at the stage.

Well, that may be the case if you are familiar with your audience and, well, they are a very forgiving bunch of fellows. That's mostly because there is more to giving a speech than the actual content. Sure, facts must be accurate. The message should be important, and the speaker must be engaging and well-groomed. That's the stuff Public Speaking 101 is made of.

A good speaker will also think about the delivery method, or the way in which the speech will be conveyed to the audience. There are a few ways in which this is done:

  • Impromptu
  • Extemporaneous
  • Manuscript
  • Memorized

Let's explore them now.

Impromptu Speeches

Suppose while attending your best friend's wedding, the guests begin chanting your name followed by the words 'Speech, Speech, Speech!'

Frightened at the possibility of having leftover prime rib thrown in your direction, your first thought is to hide behind a potted plant. After all, it is your friend's wedding and you are the best man, so you reluctantly get on stage and begin yapping. You might talk about your friendship, his many former girlfriends, all of which you liked, his wife's mother and her facial mole, and the nasty creamed spinach that was served with dinner.

Pat yourself on the back! You just performed an impromptu speech. This is a speech that has no advanced planning or practice. Reflecting back on your speech, you are probably thinking about what you could have done better. Your black eye may very well be the catalyst for your regret in making those word choices. Well, lucky for you, if you are ever asked to speak before a crowd without advanced notice again, here are a few tips you can use:

  • Think for a second about what you are going to say.
  • Keep your points brief and to the point.
  • Take a few seconds between thoughts to compose yourself.

If you take your time and think about what you would like to say, you probably will never put your foot in your mouth again. Some speeches play it a little safer. They are a combination of a researched speech and an off-the-cuff speech.

Extemporaneous Speeches

We learned that the impromptu speech can be tricky. Finding the right words without advanced notice may not be for every speaker. No need to worry. The extemporaneous speech is a perfect balance. This speech involves the speaker's use of notes and some embellishment to deliver a speech. To clear this up, a speaker who uses this method would have note cards or prompts that guide him from point to point, but he uses his own words as he goes along. What makes this different than an impromptu speech is that he has a loose guideline for his speech. He did not memorize anything; he just used cues to know where to go next.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of speech. For one, the audience will think you are a genius. You used few notes and appeared to know everything about the topic. But this is not something that can be done quickly. The same fact finding and research used for other types of speeches must be used here. The speaker also must rehearse this speech for timing, rhythm and flow. Now, if shooting from the hip is not your style, you may want to consider reading your speech.

Manuscript Speeches

In a manuscript speech, the speaker reads every word from a pre-written speech. This seems easy enough. Well, if your audience enjoys a bedtime story, it may work. Reading directly from the pages of a script has its benefits. You won't miss a single word or important fact. The downside? It can be boring. Without eye contact, animation or movement on stage, the audience may become disinterested. This is especially true if the speech is about a drab topic.

Relax, you can still use this method, but with a few tweaks.

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