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Dec.

22 & 29, 2008

Modes of Speech Delivery: Reading Verbatim, Reciting and Speaking Impromptu


There are two parts of reading for you, adapted from Communicating: A Social and Career Focus and The Art of Public Speaking. Please read them thoroughly for discussion for the weeks of Dec. 22 and Dec. 29. Individual practices will be offered on both days. The reading was partially adjusted and adapted by C. C. Li (Dec. 19, 2008) from the following two books. Berko, Roy M., Wolvin, Andrew D., and Wolvin, Darlyn R. 2007. Communicating: A Social and Career Focus. NY: Houghton Mifflin Company. Lucas, Stephen E. 2008. The Art of Public Speaking. 9th ed. NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Part One Impromptu or Ad Lib Mode


Sometimes a speaker uses information acquired from experiences, speaks with little or no preparation, and organizes ideas while he or she is communicating. This approach is referred to as impromptu speaking. Some speech theorists distinguish this from as ad-lib speaking (speech), in which a speaker has no time to organize ideas and responds immediately when answering a question, volunteering an opinion, or interacting during a question-and-answer session. The impromptu mode gives a speaker a short period of time to decide what to say; therefore, the speaker does not communicate quite as spontaneously as when ad libbing. For example, when a teacher asks a question in class and gives students a minute or so to think of the answer, students use the impromptu mode when responding. Getting called on and being required to give an immediate answer is an ad lib. These forms of speaking offer the advantage of being natural and spontaneous and tend to represent a speakers true feelings because so little time is available to develop defenses and strategies. Both of these modes are weakened, however, by the lack of time a speaker has to develop organized and well-analyzed statements. Another drawback, which derives from the impossibility of doing research, is the speakers lack of opportunity to use statistics, examples, or illustrations to explain ideas clearly unless he or she is an expert on the topic. Still another liability is the speakers tendency to ramble or use unnecessary phrases such as you know and stuff like that to gain thinking time or gloss over nonspecific information. Finally, lack of preparation also can result in oral uncertaintya speakers inability to present a coherent speech. Putting together an impromptu speech requires work and immediate decisions. The process is the same as preparing for any other type of speech, except that there is less time to get ready. As you try to organize your thoughts, keep theses ideas in mind:

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

Determine what topic you wish to present. Word a statement of central idea that represents the topic. List the major headings that develop the statement of central idea. If paper is available, jot down the ideas. Write these in the vertical middle of the sheet of paper so you have time to add the introduction about them later, if time is available. Leave space between the major headings so that if you have time for developing subpoints, you will be able to write them in. Arrange the major headings according to one of the methods of organization time or space order, problem-solution, or a topical approach. Use the list you developed in Step 3 and number the order of each heading. Decide on an introduction. Most ad lib speakers tend to use a question or a reference to the topic, but often you can think of a story that relates to the topic, but often you can think of a story that relates to the topic. Because you probably will not have time to write out the whole introduction, jot down several key words so you will remember what you want to say. Restate the major points you made as the conclusion. If you have time, go back to see if you can think of any illustrations, examples, or statistics that develop the major ideas you want to presents. Write them in at the appropriate place in the outline. If there is no time, try to think of some as you speak. Make sure that you clarify or define any words that may be unfamiliar to your listeners.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6 Step 7

Extemporaneous Mode
People who have more time to prepare for their presentations often use the extemporaneous speaking mode, developing a set of talking points, such as notes or an outline to assist them in presenting their ideas. The speaker knows in advance that she or he will be giving a speech and can prepare by doing research and planning the speech. The extemporaneous mode offers significant advantages: time to find the information needed to help accomplish the statement of central ideas; the security of having notes or an outline to refer to throughout the speech; use of quotations, illustrations, and statistics in written form for backing up ideas and a more spontaneous and natural oral presentation and physical presentation than are likely in the manuscript or memorized mode. As with any other presentational mode, the extemporaneous mode of delivery has some disadvantages as well. For example, a speaker who does not allow sufficient time for preparation and rehearsal may get mentally lost during the presentation. Furthermore, if a speaker refers to the notes or outline too frequently during the speech or has too many notes, she or he may fail to interact with the audience. And because extemporaneous material is never written out word for word, there will be no permanent record of the speech.
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Preparing the Extemporaneous Speech Most speakers use either notes or an outline when they present an extemporaneous speech. Notes can consist of a list of words that guide the speaker through the presentation or a series of phrases or sentences to act as clues. Many speakers start out with a speech planning outline, a brief framework used to think through the process of the speech. This outline contains the major ideas of the speech, without elaboration. It is a means of thinking through the things you wish to say and putting them in a structured order. Some speakers use this for practice and while speaking. Others prepare a speech presentation outline in which they flesh out the outline with examples and illustrations and write in internal summaries and forecasts. (An outlining tool for formatting a speech can be found on this textbooks website.) Outlining The basic concept in outlining is that the speaker has a clear step-by-step structure of what will be said and in what order. Some speakers simply list the headings and subordinate points in a sequential order. Others use a formal outlining method. Numerous rules have been developed for how to structure an outline. Some speech instructors are very specific as to what the outline is to look like, indicating that the discipline of developing the outline aids the speaker in making sure that all parts of the speech are well developed and ordered. Others believe that the outline is for the speakers benefit. They advise preparing it so that you are comfortable with the material and can remember what you need to say. The following are some considerations for preparing an outline: An outline has balanced structure based on four major principles: Parallelism, coordination, subordination, and division. Parallelism Whenever possible, when preparing an outline, you should express coordinate heads in parallel form. That is, nouns should be made parallel with nouns, verb forms with verb forms, adjectives with adjectives, and so on (Example: Nouns: computers, programs, users; Verbs: to compute, to program, to use; Adjectives: home computers, new programs, experienced users). Although parallel structure is desired, logical and clear language should not be sacrificed simply to maintain parallelism. (For example, there are times when nouns and gerunds at the same level of an outline are acceptable.) Reasonableness and flexibility of form are preferred to rigidity. Coordination In outlining, those items that are of equal significance should have comparable numeral or letter designations: an A is equal to a B, a 1 to a 2, an a to a b , and so on. Coordinates should have the same value. Coordination is a principle that enables a writer to maintain a coherent and consistent document.
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Mind Mapping An alternative to using an outline for the extemporaneous mode of presentation is mind mapping. Mind mapping is a method of arranging materials visually rather than in list form. This is a mode often favored by right-brained people, who are stimulated by pictures rather than words. Mind mappers can use the procedure to develop the speech or to develop and then use the visual images for the presentation stage of speaking. To mind-map, the potential speaker makes a list of all the ideas to be included in the speech. Then major headings are selected, each major idea is placed in a circle, and the subpoints are grouped around the major heading circles and connected to the circles with spokes. The speaker indicates the major heading, then orally flows from one spoke to another. When one circle and its spokes are finished, the speaker proceeds to the next circle and discusses its topical spokes. Lets say you are planning on speaking about a visit to Washington, DC, the nations capital. You make a list of the things you did and the sights you saw (Table 11.1). You then set the major theme ideas in circles and group the subhead ideas around those major themes (Figure11.2). This drawling forms the basis for the extemporaneous speech. Talking Points Some speakers like to work from talking points. Talking points are bullet points in an abbreviated outline format that serve as a framework for the speech and are used in a rehearsal session and as the notes for the actual presentation. In developing talking points, you may create a detailed outline or a manuscript and then narrow those to the minimum number of statements that you will need to stay on track while presenting the material. Those points are then entered on an appropriately sized index card and used when you are rehearsing and presenting the speech. For example, a speaker talking about the need to reform the Social Security system, might use these talking points: A. Background on Social Security 1. August 14, 1935: Social Security Act signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 2. 1956: Broadened to Disability Insurance 3. 1972: Provided for cost-of-living increases in benefits tied to the Consumer Price Index 4. 1983: Increased age of eligibility for full retirement benefits from 65 to 67 5. 2007: ?

Further reference on: Impromptu speaking


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Impromptu speaking is a speech and debate event that involves an eight minute speech, with up to three of these eight minutes available for use as preparation time
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(known as prep time, or simply prep). The speaker receives a slip of paper, which provides three choices for their speech. The topics can be abstract or concrete nouns, people, political events, quotations or proverbs. While the format is simple, it takes time to construct a speech in that time and talk on your feet. Mastery of this event is difficult, but many enjoy it, because one does not have to prepare for the event beforehand. Similar in theory to extemporaneous speaking, however unlike that category, impromptu speeches need not be factual and are indeed encouraged to be humorous. In some impromptu rounds, there is a "triad" prompt, in which the participant is given three key words to talk about and connect during the speech. OHSSL Impromptu differs from the rules provided above in the fact that you are provided with seven minutes of time to divide at your discretion between prepping and speaking. Additionally, all topics are quotations--occasionally themed but generally random. Ohio Impromptu is also more factual and less humour based, resembling extemp. Analysis of quotations typically follows a general structure of: I. Introduction, and Statement of Quotation, Thesis II. First contention III. Second contention IV. Third contention (optional and time permitting) V. Conclusion There are other structures that can be used. Double analysis is normally used by experienced impromptu speakers. Experienced speakers usually divide the prep and speaking time at a 1:6 ratio. Not all state competitions, however, follow the same rules for impromptu. In Indiana, for instance, the event is not a consolation event. A speaker will walk into his or her speaking room and receive the topic from the judge. The speaker then has 30 seconds to prepare

Part Two
Reading from a Manuscript Certain speeches must be delivered word for word, according to a meticulously prepared manuscript. Examples include a Popes religious proclamation, an engineers report to a professional meeting, or a Presidents message to Congress. In such situations, absolute accuracy is essential. Every word of the speech will be analyzed by the press, by colleagues, perhaps by enemies. In the case of the President, a misstated phrase could cause an international incident. Timing may also be a factor in manuscript speeches. Much of todays political campaigning is done on radio and television. If the candidate buys a one-minute spot and pays a great deal of money for it, that one minute of speech must be just right.
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Although it looks easy, delivering a speech from a manuscript requires great skill. Some people do it well. Their words come alive as if coined on the spot. Others seem to ruin it every time. Instead of sounding vibrant and conversational, they come across as wooden and artificial. They falter over words, pause in the wrong places, read too quickly or too slowly, speak in a monotone, and march through the speech without even glancing at their audience. In short, they come across as reading to their listeners, rather than talking with them. If you are in a situation where you must speak from a manuscript, do your best to avoid these problems. Practice aloud to make sure the speech sounds natural. Work on establishing eye contact with your listeners. Be certain the final manuscript is legible at a glance. Above all, reach out to your audience with the same directness and sincerity that you would if you were speaking extemporaneously. Reciting from Memory Among the feats of the legendary orators, none leaves us more in awe then their practice of presenting even the longest and most complex speeches entirely from memory. Nowadays it is no longer customary to memorize any but the shortest of speechestoasts, congratulatory remarks, acceptance speeches, introductions, and the like. If you are giving a speech of this kind and want to memorize it, by all means do so. However, be sure to memorize it so thoroughly that you will be able to concentrate on communicating with the audience, not on trying to remember the words. Speakers who gaze at he ceiling or stare out the window trying to recall what they have memorized are no better than those who read dully from a manuscript. Speaking Impromptu An impromptu speech is delivered with little or no immediate preparation. Few people choose to speak impromptu, but sometimes it cannot be avoided. In fact, many of the speeches you give in life will be impromptu. You might be called on suddenly to say a few words or, in the course of a class discussion, business meeting, or committee report, want to respond to a precious speaker. When such situations arise, dont panic. No one expects you to deliver a perfect speech on the spur of the moment. If you are in a meeting or discussion, pay close attention to what the other speakers say. Take notes of major points with which you agree or disagree. In the process, you will automatically begin to formulate what you will say when it is your turn to speak. Whenever you are responding to a previous speaker, try to present your speech in for simple steps: First, state the point you are answering. Second, state the point you wish to make. Third, support your point with appropriate statistics, examples, or
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testimony. Fourth, summarize your point. This four step method will help you organize your thoughts quickly and clearly. If time allows, sketch a quick outline of your remarks on a piece of paper before you rise to speak. Use the same method of jotting down key words and phrases followed in a more formal speaking outline (see Chapter 10). This will help you remember what you want to say and will keep you from rambling. In many cases, you will be able to speak informally without rising from your chair. But if the situation calls for you to speak from a lectern, walk to it calmly, take a deep breath or two (not a visible gasp), establish eye contact with your audience, and begin speaking. No matter how nervous you are inside, do your best to look calm and assured on the outside. Once you begin speaking, maintain strong eye contact with the audience. If you are prone to talking rapidly when you are nervous, concentrate on speaking at a slower pace. Help the audience keep track of your ideas with signposts such as My first point is; second, we can see that; in conclusion, I would like to say. If you have had time to prepare notes, stick to what you have written. By stating your points clearly and concisely, you will come across as organized and confident. Whether you realize it or not, you have given thousands of impromptu speeches in daily conversationas when you informed a new student how to register for classes, or explained to your boss why you were late for work, or answered questions in a job interview, or tried to persuade your roommate to lend you $20 until next week. There is no reason to fall apart when you are asked to speak impromptu in a more formal situation. If you keep cool, organize your thoughts, and limit yourself to a few remarks, you should do jut fine. As with other kinds of public speaking, the best way to become a better impromptu speaker is to practice. If you are assigned an impromptu speech in class, do your best to follow the guidelines discussed here. You can also practice impromptu speaking on your own. Simply choose a topic on which you are already well informed, and give a one- or two-minute impromptu talk on some aspect of that topic. Any topic will do no matter how serious or frivolous it may be. Nor do you need an audienceyou can speak to an empty room. Better yet, you can speak to a digital recorder and play the speech back to hear how you sound. The purpose is to gain experience in pulling your ideas together quickly and stating them succinctly. Over the years, many people have found this an effective way to improve their skills of impromptu speaking. Speaking Extemporaneously In popular usage, extemporaneous means the same as impromptu. But technically the two are different. Unlike an impromptu speech, which is totally off7

the-cuff, an extemporaneous speech is carefully prepared and practiced in advance. In presenting the speech, the extemporaneous speaker uses only a set of brief notes or a speaking outline to jog the memory (see Chapter 10). The exact wording is chosen at the moment of delivery. This is not as hard as it sounds. Once you have your outline (or notes) and know what topics your going to cover and in what order, you can begin to practice the speech. Every time you run through it, the wording will be slightly different. As you practice the speech over and over, the best way to present each part will emerge and stick in your mind. The extemporaneous method has several advantages. It gives more precise control over thought and language than does impromptu speaking; it offers greater spontaneity and directness than does speaking from memory or from a full manuscript; and it is adaptable to a wide range of situations. It also encouraged the conversational quality audiences look for in speech delivery. Conversational quality means that no matter how many times a speech has been rehearsed, it still sounds spontaneous to the audience. When you speak extemporaneouslyand have prepared properlyyou have full control over your ideas, yet you are not tied to a manuscript. You are free to establish strong eye contact, to gesture naturally, and to concentrate on talking with the audience rather than declaiming to them.