There are four methods of presentation:
- The Impromptu Speech
- The Memorized Speech
- The Manuscript Speech
- The Extemporaneous Speech
The Impromptu Speech
This is the speech given off the cuff, that is, with no preparation.
- No preparation required
- Result is often rambling and incoherent
- There may not be enough time available for adequate research or audience analysis
The Memorized Speech
The speech is written out word for word and committed to memory.
- Permits maximum use of delivery skills
- Permits little or no adaptation during delivery
- Recovery is difficult if you make a mistake
- Speech may sound memorized
- Time consuming to prepare
The Manuscript Speech
The speech is written out and read from the text.
- Appropriate when extremely careful wording is required
- Lacks freshness and spontaneity
- Difficult to react to audience feedback
- Speech may sound stilted because of the use of more formal written language
An extemporaneous speech is a speech given from notes. It represents a middle course between the memorized speech and the impromptu speech.
- Nearly as polished as a memorized speech, but more vigorous, flexible and spontaneous
- Generous eye contact and immediate adaptation to the audience are permitted
- Takes less time to prepare than a memorized speech
- Using this method of presentation requires practice
- For most speaking situations use the extemporaneous method of presentation
- Avoid impromptu speaking. But learn to cope with the situation if it is thrust on you.
- Speak from a manuscript when precise wording and exact timing are essential to the situation.
- Maintain oral style and conversational delivery
- Memorize a short important speech only on those occasions where holding a manuscript would be out of place.
- The Speakers Handbook, third edition, Jo Sprague and Douglas Stuart.
- Principles and Types of Speech Communication, tenth edition, Ehringer, Gronbeck, McKerrow, and Monroe.
- Confidence in Public Speaking, fifth edition, Paul Nelson and Judy Pearson.