Barbara P
Barbara P

Extemporaneous Speech - A Complete Guide for Beginners

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Published on: Mar 8, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 24, 2023

Extemporaneous Speech

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The art of giving a good speech and writing it well is not an easy one to master. First, it requires speakers to have a strong understanding of their audience. Second, they must present themselves confidently in front of them without worrying about any mistakes that might happen on stage during performance time.

However, are you worried about your upcoming speech? Don't be! This blog post will teach you everything you need to know about how to give an extemporaneous speech.

We'll cover speech structure, tips on what topics are good for a public speaking situation, and also provide some examples of speeches that we've heard in the past.

What is an Extemporaneous Speech?

An extemporaneous speech is a spoken presentation of an argument, narration, or explanation on a subject that has not been previously outlined extensively, sometimes not at all.

Extemporaneous speeches are often presented in the form of impromptu speeches where the preparation time is limited.

The extemporaneous speech is different from a prepared oration because the speaker does not have any written notes in advance. Instead, he speaks as his thoughts come up and go off on tangents without preparation at all.

Moreover, the extemporaneous speech focuses on persuading or informing an audience about a particular topic and can usually be presented as part of a public speaking competition.

The extemporaneous speaker must organize his thoughts quickly and then present them extemporaneously, in an organized manner.

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Elements of an Extemporaneous Speech

‘What are the elements of an extemporaneous speech?’

Here are the key elements of an extemporaneous speech.

  • Talk about Something Significant

    The first step in creating a successful presentation is having something meaningful both for yourself as well as the listeners who would listen to your speech.

    When preparing for an extemporaneous speech, the first thing you need to do is understand your topic’s meaning and how it will impact both yourself and your audience.

    • ‘What do I want my audience members to take away from this?’
    • ‘How am I going to make sure they're listening throughout my entire talk so that they can hear what I have to say?’

    Make sure that you answer these questions when working on your speech.

  • Be Sincere in Your Speech

    When you're giving an extemporaneous speech, your delivery is key to making the audience believe in what they are about to hear. If there isn't sincerity behind their thoughts on stage with them, then before finishing speaking for yourself or having said anything at all will be able to tell how false everything sounds. Also, it feels when delivered automatically from one's mind without any real belief.

    The tone should always reflect genuine emotions so that listeners can connect better emotionally while listening.

  • Speak in an Original Style

    A conversational and natural style is important for an effective speech.

    Speaking effectively and extemporaneously means that you shouldn't try to imitate the speaking style of other speakers. Instead, learn from them by observing what they do right and then follow their example.

    But, when it comes down to your own personal presentation skills, figure out how to express a unique but effective style for yourself - one which is authentic and true to who you are as an individual speaker.

    These elements are important for an effective and strong extemporaneous speech, which is why you should include them in your speech without fail.

How to Prepare for an Extemporaneous Speech?

Here is how you can prepare for your extemporaneous speech in 3 steps.

1. Think About Your Topic

Before the speech begins, usually, every speaker is given a topic. When you have your topic, begin brainstorming about it and try to come up with relevant and significant details. Does the topic connect with any controversial situation? If yes, mention that in your speech.

2. Develop a Workable Thesis Statement

Why workable? Because then you can use it to develop your own speech. It is as essential for a speech as it is for an essay.

List down three to four significant points and see how well they connect with your thesis statement. Make the necessary changes.

3. Rehearse and Practice Beforehand

Practice is the key to success in every situation, especially when you are all geared to give an extemporaneous speech. Start with speaking to yourself in the mirror.

Observe the way you speak and the way you present your speech. This way, you will have an idea about where you lack and need improvement.

Follow these steps and prepare your memorable speech.

How to Write an Extemporaneous Speech?

An extemporaneous speech is different from other speeches. You get limited time to prepare for it and, usually, it is more focused on the speaker’s personal and original style.

This kind of speech is often given in schools and colleges and helps the students in developing better oratory skills.

Here are the steps involved in writing an extemporaneous speech.

Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. Identify and Choose the Topic

Identify your speech topic and try to choose the one that you are already familiar with. The second, more difficult step, of course, involves trying to think up as many details about that subject within the 30 minutes allotted for your search.

Brainstorming is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Try it and see how many ideas you can come up with in ten minutes.

2. Create an Outline for Your Speech

Form a workable outline for your speech. Write the essay’s topic on the top of the page and list down the ideas you come across. This way, you will know about the things that you need to discuss in your speech.

3. Form the Main Body Section of Your Speech

For the body section of your speech, stick to a few important facts or details and expound on them instead of adding everything.

A speech is an opportunity to convey your thoughts and feelings about a certain subject. The most important points for you as the speaker will be things that relate directly to your topic, so choose important details from the initial list.

If there is any confusion or uncertainty about what should be included in this section, don't panic - just ask questions like,

  • "What will my audience want to know?"

The more carefully planned out these details are, the more effective they are in your speech.

4. Explain the Main Points Properly

Instead of mentioning an extensive list of ideas, it is better that you explain three to four main points.

The reader needs to understand what makes up your three or four main points because it will provide them with more information about you and help illustrate how they are related.

It is important because your audience will not be able to understand the context and importance of your speech if they cannot relate to it.

5. Conclude your Speech

Spend two to three minutes preparing the conclusion for your speech. Do not write or present lengthy conclusions but stick to the main and important ideas only.

End the speech with a call-to-action or quote to strengthen your point.

Following these steps, you will be able to present your speech effectively and successfully.

Extemporaneous Speech Outline and Format

‘How to format my extemporaneous speech?’

There are two kinds of outline structures, and you can choose any for your speech. Here are detailed formats of each kind of outline.

Alphanumeric Outline

An alphanumeric outline makes organization easy. The first letter of each word, group of words, or sentence that follows a symbol is capitalized.


  1. The situation: Over 80% of employers monitor their employees.
    1. To prevent illegal activities.
    2. To monitor the efficiency of the employees.
  2. Employee privacy rights in case of surveillance and monitoring.
    1. American employees have no rights or protections against abusive employers.
      1. No federal and state laws.
      2. Employees can work for their personal privacy protection.
    2. Managers believe that there is no such thing as privacy rights at the workplace.
      1. Official communication would be limited to official issues and matters only.
      2. Businesses can and should monitor the employees to discourage the misuse of office resources.

Decimal Outline

The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric one, though there are some obvious differences. In this particular type, we use decimals for subheadings and whole numbers as headings.


Thesis statement: History of Liz Claiborne, who ruled the world

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Brief history of Liz Claiborne

1.2 Corporate environment

2.0 Career opportunities

2.1 Operations management

2.1.1 Traffic

2.1.2 International trade and corporate customs

2.1.3 Distribution

2.2 Product development

Both of these outline structures are great for any speech, and they will help you write and deliver your speech successfully.

Extemporaneous Speech Examples

Here is a sample extemporaneous speech for you to understand better.

Extemporaneous Speech Topics

Are you looking for a good topic for your extemporaneous speech? Although this is completely out of the speaker’s hand to decide the topic, there are some topics that are quite famous for extemporaneous speech.

  • How to combat and better different social conditions?
  • Why is it necessary to restrict people in public places?
  • What is freedom of speech, and how far is it actually true?
  • What are the benefits of turning towards green usability methods?
  • Tell us about the best day of your life and the reasons.
  • What are the five things that you would like to change about your school?
  • Does our society give equal rights to men and women?
  • Tell us something about a person that motivates you a lot.
  • What are the pros and cons of automation?
  • What are the most important skills for 2022, and why?

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Tips to Present Your Extemporaneous Speech

You will find a lot of tips about speaking extemporaneously, but the best ones are those that are easy to implement and remember. So, here are some useful tips for writing this kind of speech.

  • Follow a Single Presentation Style

    Speakers should use the see structure when they need to speak extemporaneously. This strategy is a way for speakers to get their points across and remain organized in speeches without pre-preparing all of them beforehand, which can be difficult or inconvenient depending on circumstances.

    The acronym stands for statement, evidence, and emotion; this scheme helps participants make an argument that will resonate with others by having each block focused on one specific point while still maintaining simplicity throughout your speech’s content.

    For example, when you're asked to make an extempore speech about a recent class project, then divide into blocks - first say what it was; next, give facts from research that supports the answer; finally state why this subject interests you.

    Follow the same structure if you are talking about multiple projects.

  • Don't Be Scared of the Audience

    It's quite common to feel anxiety when speaking in front of an audience, but you must remember that it doesn't matter what they think. If there are listeners, your palms will get sweaty, and nervousness sets in; however, if everyone is just watching silently from their seats as a spectacle instead, no worries!

    You have done nothing wrong, so stop thinking negatively, which will only make matters worse by overthinking.

  • Speak Calmly and at a Moderate Speed

    The human brain needs some time to process the information it receives. It means that speaking at a faster pace will miss the mark for both you and your audience. They can't figure out your point of view, let alone understand your ideas and details.

    To avoid anxiety and nervousness, always take a deep breath before starting your speech.

  • Do not ‘Act’ as an Expert

    Many speakers make the mistake of trying to be an expert in a topic they know nothing about. This will only hurt you and your audience's perception as it is clear that you are not sincere with what you're saying, or more importantly, wi5th those who are listening.

    You need to avoid this at all costs by being honest with yourself and those around you when speaking extemporaneously on any given subject.

  • Use the Power of Extemporaneous Speech Tactics

    If you’re giving a presentation to an audience that is large or not very diverse, it can be difficult for them to feel like they are the only ones listening. You might find yourself getting nervous because of these feelings, and this will show in your speech if you don't do anything about it.

    One way to keep everyone engaged during your talk is by making eye contact with people as often as possible while speaking kindly when talking directly at someone so they know they're being heard too.

    It's also important to speak nicely and act confidently; scanning the room helps make sure no one feels left out who may have otherwise felt neglected.

  • Don't Try to Memorize Every Detail

    Thinking of text as just a collection of words is what causes people to lose their grasp on the message they want to send. The more you learn about your audience and how best to express yourself, the less likely it will be that you are trying so hard not to forget something important.

    This over-thinking process only makes things worse.

    Learning texts by heart doesn't always work out well when presenting extemporaneous speeches. It is because memorizing everything one wants to say before speaking means distracting oneself from focusing on delivering an emotional speech.

    It also means that the speech would lose its essence.

Following these tips, you will be able to avoid any unwanted mistakes and issues in your speech, and you will be able to deliver it easily.

We hope you've found this blog post to be informative and helpful. We want everyone who reads this blog post to come away feeling more confident about their public speaking abilities.

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Our professional essay writers is ready and waiting to partner with you to create an awesome public speaking experience that will leave your audience wanting more. is here to help you with it.

Order a sample extemporaneous speech today.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of an extemporaneous speech?

The main purpose of an extemporaneous speech is to help the speakers develop quick thinking skills. Since these speeches allow limited preparation time, the speaker has to think and organize his ideas quickly and on their feet.


2. What is the key characteristic of an extemporaneous speech?

The key characteristic of this kind of speech is that the speaker has to synthesize facts obtained from outside sources and mix them with his understanding and personal style to convey the message.


3. What are the advantages of extemporaneous speech?

The main advantages of this kind of speech include:

  • The speaker is able to speak in a more conversational tone and style.
  • Budding speakers learn how to think quickly and on their feet.

Besides, it also helps them maintain eye contact with the audience.

4. Is extemporaneous speech formal?

No, this kind of speech is usually informal as the speaker does not have time to memorize everything. However, the speaker is still being judged and, therefore, must follow a structure.


5. What is the difference between memorized and extemporaneous speech?

The extemporaneous speech is delivered with minimum preparation and with the help of note cards. A memorized speech is what it says, ‘memorized,’ and it is delivered without the help of cue cards.


6. Why is extemporaneous speech the best?

This kind of speech is considered the best because it allows the speakers to maintain eye contact with the audience. This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication, which is important in public speaking


Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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