• Unit 8: Categories of Presentation Delivery

    Scholars categorize four methods for delivering a message: impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized. The event will usually determine the format you should use. As we discussed in the previous unit, your goal is to sound conversational regardless of the delivery method you use. After you study these descriptions, you will notice that this course focuses on extemporaneous and impromptu speeches.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

    • 8.1: Types of Presentations

      Before we get into the details, let's briefly examine two resources that summarize the four types of presentations we will discuss in detail below: impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized.

    • 8.2: Impromptu Presentations

      Impromptu presentations are written and prepared at the last minute. For example, your boss may ask you to describe the status of a project moments before a meeting begins. Speakers usually write a loose outline and fill in the blanks with their knowledge during their presentation.

      Impromptu presentations can be challenging since deep prior background and understanding are usually necessary to speak proficiently. They allow for a conversational tone but can draw attention to a lack of fluency if the presenter struggles to put their thoughts together coherently on the spot. Overcoming this challenge requires practice and personal knowledge of the subject matter.

    • 8.3: Extemporaneous Presentations

      Extemporaneous presentations are usually the easiest and most effective method for those new to public speaking. The presenter takes time to organize and prepare their thoughts and create a lengthy, detailed outline that includes everything they plan to say. Presenters use note cards or an abbreviated outline to highlight their ideas and remind them to address their main points, adapt their message to their audience, and use a conversational tone.

    • 8.4: Manuscript Presentations

      Presenters give manuscript presentations when word choice is essential, such as for politics, news, or awards ceremonies. The speaker writes their presentation out word-for-word and delivers it from a script, often using a teleprompter. In these situations, presenters create a manuscript to make sure they say all the words they want to include, with the precise format and phrasing they intend.

      This delivery method can be challenging because it is difficult to convey a conversational tone. Inexperienced presenters and students often believe this method will provide them with the most confidence, but they resort to reading their presentation because they lack the proper delivery skills. When we read our presentation, we lose our ability to connect with individuals in the audience, and we lose confidence when they appear bored or unengaged.

    • 8.5: Memorized Presentations

      Like manuscript presenting, a memorized presentation involves writing a script with the exact words you plan to use. However, presenters memorize their manuscript and deliver it without notes. Memorized presentations have the same benefits and risks of manuscripts, with the added possibility that you will lose your place in the script and have no tools to bring yourself back or regain your composure.

      Consider the speaker from Unit 7 who began with a spontaneous speech and transitioned to a memorized spoken word format. How did the two parts differ? Both were powerful, but one connected more personally with the audience than the other.