By Jazzmine Davis
In chapter four of Management Communication a Case Analysis Approach, James O’Rourke explains that speaking in front of an audience is the number one answer of “worst human fears.” He furthers the chapter giving readers the detailed guide on how to prepare a successful management speech, including a section that describes the different approaches to speech delivery. There are four types, including memorized, manuscript, extemporaneous, and impromptu delivery methods.
This is not the first time I have encountered these delivery methods. A required college course usually taken your freshman or sophomore year, “Speech 101” at Stephen F. Austin State University, has a curriculum centered on public speaking and the types of speeches a speaker can deliver. The plan for the class is to first learn about each speech, and gradually deliver that type of speech to our class audience as time elapses.
We were first taught the characteristics of memorized and manuscript types of speeches, which entails word-for-word verbatim delivery of the speech. The book explains that memorized speeches should give the impression that the speaker has the whole speech embedded in their brain, but our professor let us read off the paper! It was easy and everyone begin the class with an A average.
As the semester passes, things began to get a little rough, and now we could decipher between the people who have a fear of public speaking from the students that will breeze through the course with no problems. We were taught lessons over impromptu and extemporaneous speeches and were assigned the task of delivering speeches with these two different approaches. Extemporaneous speeches require the speaker to have prepared extensive research and deliver the message without note cards or visual aids to prompt the speaker’s memory. Also, Impromptu speeches are not rehearsed, and the speaker must go off-the-top about a topic matter. The day came when presentations were delivered, and some of my classmates were nervous, jittery, and not prepared for their speeches. The nervous speakers were called to the podium, and you could tell who got points deducted because my professor was not good at concealing her facial expressions!
This just goes to show that it is a great opportunity to be taught the way to give a speech, how to be successful, and actually be able to practice speeches before being put into a career/position where this skill is required and professionally used. I am so glad that our curriculum adds this essential skill to our degree plans to ensure that students will be able to know where they stand on delivering speeches and how improve over time. Public speaking is not an easy task, and should be practiced to improve the delivery of what the speaker is trying to discuss to an audience.