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How to give a good extemporaneous speech

Extemporaneous can seem like a scary event. The time limit, notes (or lack thereof), and source citations - combined with a knowledge of current events - can make this event seem tough to do well. This solution gives you the information and tricks any good extemper will need for success.

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First of all, have the right mindset when approaching your speeches: Don't be daunted by the smooth speaking some competitors have. Focus your energy on having strong arguments that are reasonable, balanced and fair. Don't get preachy or too biased, and try to keep personal issues out of your speech. If you want to imagine a role model for a good extemp speech, think of a journalist on CNN (the reporters, not the commentators).

Extemp speech structure: In your introduction (which should be approximately one minute long), tell a story or a surprising bit of information which relates to the issue in your question. Next, ask the question (it is ok to read the question directly off the slip of paper you have) and then immediately answer it directly. A clear "yes" or "no" are best. You must take a stand! Extemp is persuasive, not informative. Don't turn extemp into an info round where you explain the current event to the judge. This is not what they are looking for.

After you give ...

Solution Summary

This job advises how to give a good extemporaneous speech.