What Type of Speech are you giving? Part 2


The last type of speech is the extemporaneous. The dictionary definition states: it is made up or done without preparation. Most people consider extemporaneous or impromptu speaking as interchangeable. In the world of public speaking it is the opposite. Experience speakers will tell you that an extemporaneous speech is thoroughly planned but not memorized.

This allows a speaker when confronted with an unplanned event such as the projector failing, to deal with the event and then proceed without any problem. If during your speech an audience member raises their hand, you can answer their question and then continue.

An extemporaneous speech is carefully planned and prepared. This is also followed by extensive practice. Since the speaker is not memorizing the speech, they may try different words or phrases to capture the desired effect. During the speech the speaker may have practice one phrase or gesture then decide to use a different one.

Using a memorized or impromptu or extemporaneous speech is dependent on circumstances and personal style. The key is to experiment and find what works best.


What Type of Speech are you giving? Part 1


In speaking there are three types of speeches; memorized, extemporaneous and impromptu.

With a memorized speech everything is memorized; your words, hand gestures, body movements and stage actions. At any given moment, if someone has your notes, they know exactly what you will say and how you will say it. Winston Churchill after giving a very bad speech, decided that he would always give memorized speeches. He practiced hours on his words, gestures, body movements and even his ‘mistakes’. To make your speech sound natural rather than memorized, the key point is to practice. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to look natural.

The other end of spectrum is the impromptu speech. This speech can be a twenty minute business presentation or a thirty second elevator speech. The keys to success are speaking skills, practice and knowledge. You can have the knowledge, however if your skills are lacking, everyone will know. With great speaking skills, you can fool people with your lack of knowledge, only for a short time.

Our last type of speech, extemporaneous, is in part 2.