College of Southern Idaho
A Step-By-Step Approach

Now that you have spent countless hours crafting the words of this speech, it is time to think about delivering the presentation to the class. There are four basic types of speech delivery:

1. Impromptu Delivery

As the name implies, this is delivery with little or no preparation. Impromptu delivery happens when you get called on to answer a question in a class or a police officer pulls you over for speeding… have to give answers fast, without the benefit of a lot of advanced planning. We all deliver a speech with impromptu style from time-to-time, but some speakers do this better than others. Impromptu speaking SHOULD NOT be confused with impromptu rambling. Everyone can ramble, but good impromptu delivery is still a well-crafted speech (intro, body, conclusion, etc.) but the speaker can accomplish this monumental task on the spur of the moment.

2. Extemporaneous Delivery

This is the most common type of delivery in college presentations and will be the one that you are utilizing during your first speech in COMM 101. When speaking extemporaneously, you have meticulously researched, organized, and practiced your speech ahead of time…….but it SOUNDS TOTALLY NATURAL. To accomplish this, a speaker takes all of this well-organized information and places it into outline form. The speaker DOES NOT write out a speech that looks like a paper (this is the kiss of death, actually). So, when you are in front of a group of people, you are just talking to them naturally using your outline notes to jog your memory as you go. It should sound just like you are having a conversation with someone (albeit a very smart, well-organized, one…).

3. Manuscript Delivery

This is the type of delivery used primarily by formal speakers, politicians, business executives, etc. when they prepare their speeches well in advance. Manuscript delivery takes all of that research, organization, and outlining work and then uses it to WRITE OUT THE SPEECH so it looks just like paper. Then, the speaker reads the speech off of the paper. This type of delivery is problematic for several reasons. First, it takes forever!! Each word on the manuscript needs to be carefully crafted for effect, and that takes quite some time. Next, it is really difficult to read to an audience and keep them interested. Think about the last time someone read to you: it was probably someone trying to get you to go to sleep…..not something you want to strive for in public speaking!! This type of delivery really needs to be reserved for the professionals who can make the most of it. Truly, the WORST THING you could possibly do for this speech is to write it out word for word.

4. Memorized Delivery

As the name implies, memorized delivery is the step beyond manuscript delivery. The speaker writes the speech out…...and then memorizes the manuscript so he/she has no notes, no manuscript, no “help” up there in front of the audience. As you might imagine, this also has a few drawbacks…...not the least of which is forgetting the speech altogether. This, also, is a type of delivery best left to professional and competitive public speakers.  Please, I beg you, do not try to memorize any of your speeches for COMM 101.


Each of these types of delivery needs to make the most out of basic principles of nonverbal communication. Consider your body movement, hand gestures, voice quality, eye contact, and enthusiasm as you speak. Remember to do everything you can to connect with the audience (and a large part of that connection is always nonverbal).  Make sure that you review the Delivery PowerPoint for more information on this as well.

You are now to that step in the speech development process where all there is left to do is PRACTICE!! Successful speakers always run through their speeches time and time again to work on everything from content to inflection. Practice your speech just as you will give it to your audience. 

Step #1: Planning The Speech

Step #2: Developing The Speech