Presentation Delivery Styles to Consider


One of the most difficult things to master is memorised delivery. Memorization was one of the five fundamental components of public speaking (rhetoric) way, way back when. So public speaking students were very adept in the art of memorization, and their memorising skills were put to the test when they recited extensive orations.

However, communication has evolved significantly. Audience members nowadays want to feel as if they are a part of the message in some manner, as if their presence is significant. However, memorised delivery does not allow for much involvement since it makes establishing “a perception of give and take between the listener and the speaker” impossible.

But it doesn't mean there aren't times when memorising is the best option for delivery. It's a good idea to memorise what you're going to say if you're issuing a press release or delivering a very significant speech that will be recorded and shared. Remember how tough it might be to commit long works to memory. Allow yourself enough time to study the piece and then learn how to deliver it effortlessly. Powerpoint Design Services in India help you to design presentations professionally. The following are the benefits and drawbacks of memorised delivery, as detailed in the book Between One and Many.


  • Makes it possible to maintain consistent eye contact with the audience.
  • Allows for more freedom of movement
  • This enables exact and proper language.


  • It is so easy to forget
  • It appears "canned" and chilly.
  • It takes a long time to prepare.
  • Doesn't allow for any kind of spontaneity


Delivering from a manuscript is akin to memorised delivery in many ways. In this situation, your presentation is written out word for word on speaker's notes, which you then refer to or read from throughout your presentation. If you need word clarity but don't have time to memorise your presentation, manuscript delivery can be effective.

It can also help if you will be delivering words written by someone else. This approach is most commonly seen nowadays in the usage of teleprompters, which are used for newscasts and many political speeches. Every president since Ronald Reagan has used a teleprompter, which makes sense given that every word they say will be scrutinised.

Remember that manuscript delivery is all about providing a comfortable experience for the speaker and relieving him/her of stress. However, it does not provide much to the audience in terms of engaging delivery or eye contact. So you'll want to evaluate the risk of boring or alienating your audience against the reward of a "easier" delivery style, which has the following benefits and drawbacks:


  • Precision and accuracy
  • Transcripts can be made available quickly/simultaneously.
  • There is less pressure to read than to deliver.
  • Allows for a significant degree of control over the outcome


  • Allows for just minimal eye contact.
  • Preference for written rather than the conversational manner
  • It is possible to lose your place.


Speaking with little to no preparation is referred to as impromptu delivery. It is called "winging it" or "speaking off the cuff." I know very few experienced speakers who would willingly choose to deliver in this manner. Even speakers who are driven by the thrill of impromptu delivery and can perform well under pressure understand that preparation and practise will always result in a superior end product.

As a result, we never encourage a speaker to use unplanned delivery as his or her preferred way of delivery. However, if an unexpected event develops, such as a job interview question you weren't expecting, being put on the spot in a meeting, or having to fill in if the prepared speaker is unable to make it, you may need to deliver an impromptu message. Keep these benefits and drawbacks in mind in those situations.


  • Allows for a degree of spontaneity
  • This allows for a lot of eye contact.
  • Allows the speaker to easily adjust to any given context/situation.


  • There is no time to prepare.
  • Anxiety levels may skyrocket as a result.
  • Allows for little control over the outcome


The last presentation delivery technique is the one we recommend and utilise the most. Extemporaneous delivery is defined as practised and planned but adaptable. The storey of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" can be of assistance here. We're in Papa Bear territory with memorising and manuscript delivery, where everything feels a little too tight, hard, and constraining. Mama Bear hates impromptu deliveries because they are too mushy and soft. But, as with Goldilocks discovering Baby Bear's stuff, there is a happy medium with spontaneous delivery. It just feels perfect.

So, how exactly does it work? With extemporaneous delivery, you create your content by studying, editing, and revising it until it is perfect. Then comes the stage of practise and preparation. This is where you have some leeway in how you handle things. Some people like to practise from a nearly finished work, hitting the essential points, referring notes as needed, but allowing for natural phrasing variations.

Others may choose to work from a very brief outline. So, rather than having a tale written out word for word, they may prefer to have “tell stories about the first day on the job” scribbled in their notes. This isn't to say they don't practise telling the storey over and over. It simply implies that the words on the page aren't telling them to tell it the same way every time. Your choice of speaker's remarks should always be based on your personal preferences.

The goal of extemporaneous speaking is to combine the finest qualities of memorised and prepared delivery—the ability to utilise beautiful and exact language that moves the audience—with the best qualities of impromptu delivery—the capacity to deliver a message with warmth and character. And research shows that both clarity and warmth are important to the audience. According to scientific study, speakers who make good eye contact come across as more “believable, confident, and competent.” That being stated, here are the benefits and drawbacks of our favoured style:


  • Combines the benefits of planning and spontaneity
  • Allows the speaker to use notes while maintaining regular eye contact.
  • Allows the speaker to be adaptive as well as precise.


  • The usage of too many notes can limit eye contact and movements.

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