The Impromptu Speech-Handout

The Impromptu Speech-Handout - Impromptu and Extemporaneous...

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Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speeches Mark Twain said, “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” “When am I ever going to be asked to speak spontaneously in front of a crowd?” This situation actually occurs almost every day. What about the time you were asked to describe your weekend experience or a family vacation, or to tell about a movie you saw recently, or to give someone directions, or to explain how to use a tool or an electronic “gadget,” or to explain a topic about which you are known to be an expert? Each time you are in a situation like this, your spoken response is spontaneously generated. Webster’s dictionary defines the word “impromptu” as “made, done, or formed on or as if on the spur of the moment; composed or uttered without previous preparation.” Another word associated with impromptu is “extemporaneous” which has the same definition as “impromptu” with the following added: “carefully prepared, but delivered without notes or text.” The difference between Impromptu Speeches and Extemporaneous Speeches (sometimes shortened to “extemp”) is usually the time allotted for preparation. Impromptu speakers have absolutely no time to prepare, but extemporaneous speakers have anywhere from a short period of time, like 5 to 30 minutes, to a few weeks. The difference is in the delivery method: the impromptu speech is generated instantly and delivered immediately; whereas, the extemporaneous speech is delivered using just a few notes. During the extemporaneous speech , the speaker also uses an improvisational, somewhat conversational, delivery in which he or she pays close attention to the responses and reactions of the audience, sometimes altering the speech content to accommodate the audience’s interests. But, how can you be prepared for an Impromptu Speech? 1. If you are suddenly given a topic, try to grab a scrap of paper, or even a napkin, to jot down some thoughts. Use what ever time you have to organize your thoughts.
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  • Spring '09
  • MichaelMcCuddy
  • Thought, Impromptu speaking, 10 seconds

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