Official Description: Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current events, choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech.
Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Notes are permitted. Students will speak in listed order. Posting of topics will be staggered.
What you should expect to get out of this event:
- You will learn a great deal about current events, local, national, and international.
- You will enjoy sharing your observations and insights with coaches and team members in rehearsal, and with audiences in competition.
- You will learn a variety of methods for structuring ideas for clear and effective presentation.
- You will learn greater control of your voice and body, making both more expressive.
- You will learn to think systematically and efficiently under time pressure.
- You will learn self-control and poise under pressure.
- You will learn to "read" audiences, adjusting your speech to audience reactions as you go along.
- You will read more widely and perceptively, sorting and gathering material which you can use in your speeches.
- You will learn to develop an extensive filing system, storing useful material so that it can quickly be found when needed.
- You will develop your memory, stocking it with stories, facts, and viewpoints you can use in your speeches.
- You will learn to become a better observer of the world around you, staying alert for information and viewpoints that will make you a better thinker and speaker.
- You will come to a better understanding of yourself, as you search your own experience to help you find worthwhile things to say.
- You will learn a lot by watching excellent extemporaneous speakers.
Special features of this event in competition:
To clarify this event: A half-hour before you are scheduled to speak, you are given a slip of paper on which you will find three topics from current events. You have a half-hour to select one of the topics, and prepare a seven-minute speech on it. Your half-hour preparation time must be carefully used; in it you must formulate a thesis and outline for your speech, support your points with research drawn from your previously-prepared files, and spend a few minutes rehearsing. Often people with debate experience are drawn to EXT, and so they are glib and smooth talkers - but debate experience is not always an advantage, because debaters often pick up bad habits (like the use of jargon, and rapid-fire delivery) which they can't shake. EXT is a rigorous and challenging event, a lot of work but very worthwhile.
What you will do to become competitive in this event:
Initial preparation: about 3 weeks
- select the Extemporaneous Speaking event
- learn about speech structure 2-3 days
- develop a filing system to store material for quick retrieval continuous
- try out a topic or two, slowly 1-2 days
- practice: do it over and over, every day 2 weeks
- keep reading in current events, copying and filing useful material on every possible topic
- Keep practicing.
- Work to make structures more sophisticated, yet still clear
- Work to make sure speeches are on the topics provided
- Continue reading widely to stock files with useful material