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Verbal Delivery


          What do people fear more than death? “Glossaphobia” is the fear of public speaking. Think about that: people prefer to die than to get up in front of an audience and talk with them. One of the reasons for this fear/apprehension/anxiety stems from the fact people don’t know much about how to deliver their message. There are four verbal delivery methods to public speaking, each with unique attributes and an appropriate time for use.


Manuscript Delivery is the reading of a script; often used for long or complicated speeches.

          This method of delivery is just as its name describes, the reading of a manuscript. A manuscript method of delivery is used for long or complicated speeches where it vital to get every detail correct. If a speech will be going into the public record, a manuscript delivery may be the best method to use. To be successful in a manuscript delivery, the speech must be practiced and rehearsed until it flows and appears to be a fluent presentation; it should appear natural. Sometimes manuscript delivery may be more difficult than other types of delivery methods due to the elements of preparation and practice.

Example: The President delivering the State of the Union address is a manuscript style speech—they may have their speaking notes on a projection in front of them, but they are comfortable with them, and their message looks as though they are just speaking with you.

Example: Your senate representative presenting a new bill on the floor of the Senate.


Impromptu Delivery is an unrehearsed, often short, made up speech with no preparation.

          This method of delivery is made up on the spot with no preparation. Impromptu speeches are unrehearsed and may be short in nature. However, impromptu speeches should still have the organizational elements of good speeches.

Example: Students are asked to introduce themselves to the class by telling two truths and a lie.

Example: At a networking luncheon when you are asked by your table mate to tell them what you would like to do with your degree when you graduate.


Memorized Delivery is the recitation of a pre-written speech from memory.

          Just like the name says, a memorized method of delivery is the recitation of a pre-written speech from memory. Memorized speeches might be used in a monologue within a theatrical production. There is certainly an element of danger when presenting a completely memorized speech. Remember the adage: “It’s not if it’s when . . .” Holding your entire speech in your memory can be hazardous to the completion of the speech. If something/someone distracts you, you may forget all the words in your speech. It is very difficult to present a memorized speech well. It must be carefully and thoughtfully prepared and practiced in order to sound spontaneous and fluid.

Example: A salesperson has a sales presentation memorized to win over potential clients.


Example: The reciting of the Gettysburg address for an elementary school class.


Extemporaneous Delivery of speeches are carefully planned, prepared, and practiced but delivered spontaneously by internalizing the ideas and concepts.

         Extemporaneous speeches are carefully planned, prepared, and practiced. However, the delivery method is spontaneous. The speaker internalizes the ideas and concepts of the speech to ensure they are delivered fluently to the audience. Extemporaneous delivery is not tied to specific words and allows for a conversational manner with the audience. You are speaking with them, not at them.

Example: Your speech to an engineering society about the new academic space you are designing and building.

Example: Your persuasive speech to your Argument in Everyday Life class on the pros of internet neutrality.

Example: Speaking up in front of an urban planning committee about the effects of a large sports complex set to be built in your neighborhood.


Review Questions

1) What are the four types of verbal delivery? How are each one of them used? 

2) If you were a politician delivering an important policy speech which method would you use? And why?

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