Betty P.
Betty P.

Extemporaneous Speech: Definition, Characteristics & Samples

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Published on: May 1, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 20, 2023

Extemporaneous Speech

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The word extemporaneous has been derived from a Latin word called extempore that means “out of time.” The literal meaning of the word extemporaneous is without planning.

But extemporaneous speech is not a delivery of unplanned sentences or arguments. In the extemporaneous speech, the speaker conducts thorough research on the topic. After that, he/she organises all the main points in the right sequence.

An extemporaneous speech can be well-practised and well-rehearsed. But it can not be memorised or read, so it can never be delivered in the same way it was written.

Most of the time, speakers make use of cards and PowerPoint notes to keep track of the speech. As these speeches are not memorised.

The speakers need to be in the moment and have to respond according to the reactions of their audiences. Although this is not an easy thing, it can help the speaker to engage the audience in a better way.

Definition of Extemporaneous Speech

By definition, extemporaneous speech is a speech that is neither totally scripted nor totally spontaneous. In an extemporaneous speech, the speaker takes hints from the notes related to the topic.

Extemporaneous speech is a spontaneous process where the speaker prepares the topic well and then delivers it extemporarily. In an extemporaneous speech, there is no memorization involved. Instead, there are short notes where the author jots down all the important points in an appropriate sequence.

In the extemporaneous speech, audiences play a great role. The response of the audience makes or breaks the tempo of the speaker. If the audience’s response is good, the speaker will get the motivation to move ahead.

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Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speech

Following are some of the differences between impromptu and extemporaneous speeches:

Impromptu SpeechExtemporaneous Speech
This speech is delivered at the spur of the movement.This is a conversational style previously prepared speech.
The speaker gets invited to speak at the moment.The speakers are well aware of their topics and have prepared arguments.
This can be totally informal.It needs to be semi-formal.

Elements of Effective Extemporaneous Speech

Following are the elements of an extemporaneous speech

Worthy Topic

A meaningful topic is the first condition of engaging extemporaneous speech. Choose the topic that is meaningful for you and your audience.

While looking for extemporaneous speech topics, go for the substantial ones. Gather innovative ideas, collect up-to-date information and develop a thought-provoking opinion on it. This will help you connect with your audiences in a more effective manner.

Along with a good set of information and ideas, proper conveyance of your message is also very important. So you need to practice well before the final delivery of your speech. Your words should speak for your message.

Sincere and Honest Conversation

Before choosing any topic, make sure that you are convinced that it is meaningful and worth discussing. Because speaking on a topic that is not convincing for you would never be able to grab your audience's attention.

Original Style

Taking inspiration from great speakers is a good thing, but imitating their style and tone will never be a good idea. Polishing your skill and improving your style is mandatory but don’t lose your identity in the process. Practice your speech well, learn the rules to deliver, and express it in your own style.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Extemporaneous Speech

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of an extemporaneous speech over other types of speech:

Advantages of Extemporaneous Speech

Extemporaneous speech provides a number of advantages over other speech types that are as follows:

  • The conversational style of extemporaneous speeches helps the speaker to keep the audience engaged.
  • A speaker with well-prepared extemporaneous speech seems like an expert who has a strong grip on the subject. This helps the speaker to win the audience’s trust and can convince them that he/she is right.
  • Extemporaneous speeches have anecdotes and short stories that make them far more interesting than other speeches.
  • In an extemporaneous speech, a speaker can also quote the incidents, stories, and anecdotes narrated by other speakers.
  • Extemporaneous speech can also help students to improve their oral skills.
  • Extemporaneous speaking also helps to improve the confidence level of the speaker.

Disadvantages of Extemporaneous Speech

Along with the pros, extemporaneous speech also has some cons, which are stated below:

  • Extemporaneous speech can be a disastrous speech type for beginners and people afraid of public speaking.
  • A nervous speech with plenty of knowledgeable content would never be able to convince the audience. It will also make the speaker’s credibility questionable.
  • As there are no scripts for extemporaneous speech, you need to prepare your topic well. A small loophole in your research will be greatly magnified in your speech.
  • Similarly, an extemporaneous speech can be a tough choice for a person with poor vocabulary. As there are great possibilities that you may stagger on some sentences or may use the wrong vocabulary.

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How to Deliver Extemporaneous Speech?

Following are the tips to effectively prepare and deliver an extemporaneous speech:

  • While writing down points for your speech, try to make a fine and well-structured outline that can be smoothly interpreted.
  • Make sure to use index cards as cues. As you wouldn't be having a whole script while delivering your speech, these cards will help you remain on track. You can also use notes features if you are using a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Avoid reading your cue cards unless you are quoting an exact quotation or mentioning some statistical figures.
  • In case you are using any individual aids or technical tools, e.g., PowerPoint, make sure that you have practised well with the tools to synchronise the graphics with your points.
  • Try to make your speech interactive and keep your style conversational and engaging.
  • Repetitive rehearsals in front of people and their solicit feedback will help you in the improved delivery of your speech.
  • For better time management, record your speech and check the time you are taking to deliver the whole speech. If it exceeds the desired duration, you can practice it to make your time management better.

Extemporaneous Speech Examples

Following are some extemporaneous speech samples for you to understand better:

Extemporaneous Speech Topics

Following are some interesting, debatable, and convincing extemporaneous speech topics:

  • Can we blame capitalism for today’s class system?
  • Do you really think history has ended?
  • How do you see the concept of a clash of civilizations?
  • Extreme ideologies are causing more damage than benefit
  • Is Globalisation a threat to national sovereignty?
  • How current beauty standards are creating complexes
  • Why Mental health is still a taboo in 21st century
  • Why is pursuing a career of your own choice important?
  • How is global hegemony affecting the developing world?
  • What are the reasons for increasing Islamophobia?

Hope the above blog has answered all your queries regarding an extemporaneous speech. From writing an extemporaneous speech to delivering it, the blog contains tips for all the phases.

But if you still have questions or queries, you can reach our essay writer and get help in no time.

Betty P.


Betty P. (Speech, Life Sciences)

Betty is a freelance writer and researcher. She has a Masters in literature and enjoys providing writing services to her clients. Betty is an avid reader and loves learning new things. She has provided writing services to clients from all academic levels and related academic fields.

Betty is a freelance writer and researcher. She has a Masters in literature and enjoys providing writing services to her clients. Betty is an avid reader and loves learning new things. She has provided writing services to clients from all academic levels and related academic fields.

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