Proper Pronunciation Guide

extemporaneous

[ˏɛk̚ stɛm pə re͜i niəs]

Tips:

  • Pronounce this word as six syllables, giving a minor stress to the first syllable [ɛk̚] and the major stress to the fourth syllable, /re͜i/.

  • Pronounce the initial letter “e” as the short vowel

    /ɛ/—like the vowel in the word “bed.”

  • Pronounce the letter “x” as the consonant cluster /ks/. However, stop-but-do-not-explode the consonant “k” /k̚/ and then release the air on

    /s/, which begins the second syllable [stem].

  • Pronounce the letter “o” (after the letter “p”) as the weak schwa vowel

    /ə/.

  • Pronounce the fourth syllable, which is spelled “ra,” like the word “ray” and stress it.

  • Pronounce the fifth syllable, which is spelled “ne,” like the work “knee.”

  • Use the y-like consonant glide

    /j/ to link from the fifth to the final syllable—from [ni] to [əs].

Practice Sentence:

He gave an extemporaneous speech on the occasion of his father's 80th birthday.

Definition:

  • (adjective) In public speaking, a style of delivery that is both prepared and spontaneous in that the speaker speaks freely from a prepared outline or from notes.

Notes:

While “extemporaneous” is often used to mean unprepared and is sometimes used as a synonym for impromptu, in public speaking “extemporaneous” refers to a style of delivery in which the speaker speaks freely but from a prepared outline so that the speaking style is a combination of being prepared and spontaneous. “Impromptu” speaking, on the other hand, is completely spontaneous and “off the cuff,” usually consisting of a much shorter speech, such as making a few informal remarks or answering a question. The other two modes of delivering a speech are reading from a prepared text (sometimes off a teleprompter, as the president does frequently) and delivering a speech from memory, which is seldom done nowadays.

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