Extemporaneous Presentation: Definition and Actionable tips

There are several forms or methods of speech delivery out there and it can be impromptu (with no warning, more improvisation required), or the most common case: extemporaneous presentations.


We need to define this properly and make sure people don’t get confused here. Because from a literal sense extemporaneous and impromptu have the same exact meaning, the difference being that extemporaneous is an older term, both mean out of time, without preparation, ad-hoc, etc.

Now, here’s the tricky thing: From a dictionary point of view, they’re one and the same, but in the art/science of public speaking, they are taught as different things.

Extemporaneous, which comes from Latin ex tempore (“out of the time”), joined the English language sometime in the mid-17th century. The word impromptu was improvised soon after that. In general usage, extemporaneous and impromptu are used interchangeably to describe off-the-cuff remarks or speeches, but this is not the case when they are used in reference to the learned art of public speaking. Teachers of speech will tell you that an extemporaneous speech is one that has been thoroughly prepared and planned but not memorized, whereas an impromptu speech is one for which absolutely no preparations have been made.

Merriam Webster Dictionary

In Short: an extemporaneous presentation is a form of speech delivery where the speaker is notified with some antecedence that he/she will be presenting, giving an opinion, or sustaining arguments about a particular subject, and usually, he/she prepares for it and brings some keynotes.

Here the speaker has time to prepare himself, he can have some notes as a reminder with him, but the audience does not expect them to be read. The speaker has to be spontaneous and deliver the speech with the soul, a more formal way of speaking because it is carried out using notes.

Related Articles:

Impromptu Speech Topics and Tips

Memorized Speech or Presentation

The 4 Types of Speech Delivery

Extemporaneous Presentation or Speech Tips

This speech delivery method is significant because it follows the outline that usually comes from the notes we take; most of them come from our personal experience and research.

Even if we have a full manuscript or tons of notes, memorizing the speech is a bad idea the audience expects us to be prepared and know what we talk about, yet when we show up, our heart has the speak up.

One key thing that makes or breaks your extemporaneous presentation is the lack of planning, research, outlining, mastering the topic.

The extemporaneous presentation can happen in situations such as:

  • A business meeting or negotiation;
  • When delivering a press conference or an interview;
  • A school presentation;
  • A graduation or birthday speech;
  • A political debate.
  • A Training session with your Team at Work

Let’s take this last scenario as an example…

Extemporaneous Presentation Example & Actionable Tips

Training Your Sales Team About a New Product


Say you have to deliver a 2hr training session to your sales team about the launch of a new product in the next 3 days

As we mentioned above, having a decent amount of background knowledge allows us to discuss any topic or question that can pop up from the audience.

Here are the steps you will take to ensure that you deliver a great extemporaneous presentation not one time, but more and more in the future.

A) Planning and Preparing an Extemporaneous Speech

  1. Research all you can about the new product, the place where the training will take place, and the target customers of that product.
  2. Prepare your Presentation Outline, based on key findings and most critical needs identified
  3. Fill out the Deck or Slideshows with some of the pointers /features/pictures/or any relevant info about the product
  4. Highlight the Pitch to be used to Convert many prospects
  5. To connect with the audience and build engagement prepare a small session where the trainees can rehearse the pitch
  6. Make sure you know your slides and the topic well enough to answer most questions fired at you
  7. Prepare handouts if need be, and ensure you get feedback after your Presentation , and iterate on them for the next one

B) Delivering an Extemporaneous Speech

  1. Start your speech with a Bang ! It goes without saying that the opening of the speech or presentation is key to making an impact on your audience. Here, it could be something as simple as the results of your audience research and the astounding findings on the potential of sales…or, a great sales quote.
  2. Tell Stories that are Relatable: In your research, you spoke to prospects, and you have got some real-life feedback on the product, and the challenges it may solve. Share those stories with the trainees.
  3. Engage the Audience: Make sure to ask questions about how the audience feels they could sell the product and the challenges they’d face. Collect feedback and share your own thoughts and findings and ask for their feedback as well.
  4. Posture and Confidence: You did all the preparatory work, you know your topic, and you really want to share some valuable insights and learnings with the audience. Stand proud of your work, and exude confidence – that builds trust in your teachings.
  5. Ending an Extemporaneous Presentation: Make sure you voice the trainee’s opinions, summarize them, highlight key learnings, key findings from your research, the expected number of sales, the commissions they’ll earn, and end with a motivational quote on perseverance and success.

Here you have six characteristics of an extemporaneous presentation

  1. Has a Script / Notes / Teleprompter and it is not expected to be used too much
  2. Has a Specific topic of discussion
  3. Delivered with very little notes
  4. Performed after some preparation
  5. Practical, clear, and somewhat improvised at times (not sticking to reading notes)
  6. The speaker has some background knowledge on the topic


It is possible to be ready for surprises and unexpected events, in this case.

 An extemporaneous presentation if we make our daily steps by choosing activities like reading, and surround ourselves with wise and creative people with helping us in a future extemp presentation.

If you read this article until the end, thank you so much for the attention hope you enjoy it.

References and Further Reading

9+ Extemporaneous Speech Examples 

How to Deliver an Extemporaneous Presentation or Speech


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