The Art of Extemporaneous Speech

Post by Tom Cronin
The Art of Extemporaneous Speech

Extemporaneous Speech

Have you ever been asked to give a speech or presentation without any prior notice or time to prepare? You're not alone. This is commonly referred to as an extemporaneous speech and it can happen in school, job interviews, and even in social settings. Extemporaneous speeches can be nerve-racking, but with some practice and understanding of the basics, you can deliver a great extemporaneous speech with ease. In this blog post, we'll explain what an extemporaneous speech is, why it's important, and how to do it.


What is an Extemporaneous Speech?

An extemporaneous speech is an impromptu speech that is given without any prior preparation. This means that you won't have any notes or a prepared written speech to read from. Instead, you will be expected to deliver a speech on a given topic on the spot. Extemporaneous speeches are commonly used in settings like debates, interviews, and public speaking competitions.

Why is it Important? Extemporaneous speeches are necessary in various situations, and the ability to deliver them effectively can be a valuable skill. They can help you communicate your thoughts and ideas in a concise and clear way, improve your critical thinking skills, and boost your confidence. Additionally, extemporaneous speeches can show that you are adaptable and can handle unexpected situations, which is a highly valued trait in many fields.

How to Deliver a Great Extemporaneous Speech?

Let's take a look at 8 important steps to making a great extemp speech:

Take a deep breath and stay calm. 

This step is crucial in delivering a successful extemporaneous speech. When you are caught off-guard with a sudden request to speak, it can be easy to panic and feel overwhelmed. However, taking a deep breath and calming yourself down can help you to focus and gather your thoughts. Remember that it's okay to take a few seconds to compose yourself before beginning your speech. By doing so, you'll be able to deliver a more polished and confident performance. So, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and let your mind clear. You've got this!

Remember that confidence is key.

Don't be afraid to speak up and project your voice so that everyone in the audience can hear you. This doesn't mean you have to yell, but rather speak with conviction and clarity. By doing so, you'll capture the attention of your audience and keep them engaged throughout your speech. Remember, you're the one in control and the audience is there to listen to what you have to say. So, take a deep breath, stand up straight, and let your voice be heard.

Open Strong

Starting your extemporaneous speech with a strong opening statement is crucial in grabbing the audience's attention and setting the tone for the rest of your speech. You can start with a bold statement that challenges the audience's perspective or a rhetorical question that makes them think. Another way to begin is by sharing a personal anecdote or a relevant statistic that highlights the importance of the topic you will be addressing. It's essential to be creative and engaging in your opening statement to hook the audience from the get-go. Remember, the first few seconds of your speech can make or break your overall performance, so make them count!

Organize Your Thoughts

Organizing your thoughts is a crucial step in delivering a successful extemporaneous speech. Before you begin speaking, take a few seconds to collect your thoughts and ideas. This will help you to avoid rambling and keep your speech focused and concise. You can do this by taking a deep breath and mentally outlining your key points. Think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. Consider the order in which you want to present your ideas, and make sure that each point flows smoothly into the next. By taking the time to organize your thoughts, you'll be able to deliver a more polished and effective extemporaneous speech.

Use Simple Language

When giving an extemporaneous speech, it's important to remember that your audience may not be familiar with technical jargon or industry-specific acronyms. Using simple and accessible language can help ensure that your message is effectively communicated and understood by everyone in the room. Avoid using words that might confuse your audience and instead opt for clear and concise language that effectively conveys your ideas. This will not only make your speech easier to understand but also help to establish a connection with your audience, making them more receptive to your message.

Keep it Concise

When giving an extemporaneous speech, it's important to remember that time may be limited, and you need to make the most of it. Keeping your speech concise and to the point is crucial in delivering a successful speech. Start by answering the question fully, ensuring that you address all the key points. Avoid going off on tangents or rambling, as this can cause your audience to lose interest. Instead, focus on the main ideas and use concrete examples to illustrate your points. Remember, less is often more when it comes to extemporaneous speeches, so keep it simple and straightforward. By doing so, you'll be able to deliver a clear and effective speech that leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

Stick to the Time

Try to stick to the time limit if you have one. Going over the allotted time can not only annoy your audience, but it can also make it seem like you haven't organized your thoughts or prepared adequately. If you find that you have more to say than the time allows, consider focusing on the most important points and leaving out any tangents or less crucial information. Remember, being respectful of the time given to you shows that you are considerate of your audience's time and that you can effectively communicate your ideas within a given timeframe.

Finish Strong

End with a memorable closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. You can summarize your main points, provide a call to action, or leave the audience with a thought-provoking question. Another effective way to close your speech is by using a memorable quote or anecdote that ties back to your opening statement. Whatever method you choose, make sure that your closing is clear and concise, and that it effectively reinforces the main message of your speech. By ending with a strong and memorable closing statement, you'll leave your audience with a positive and lasting impression, and ensure that your message sticks with them long after you've finished speaking.


Delivering an extemporaneous speech can be challenging, but it is a valuable skill to have. It's important to understand what an extemporaneous speech is and why it is important. Hopefully, this blog post has provided you with some tips and tricks to help you deliver a great extemporaneous speech. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don't be afraid to practice your speaking skills whenever you can. Now go out there and show off your extemporaneous speaking skills!

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Post by Tom Cronin