This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Extemporaneous Speaking (Extemp, or EXT) is a limited-preparation speech event based on research and original analysis. Extemporaneous Speaking is a competitive speaking event in the United States in both high school and college forensics competition. In Extemp, competitors prepare for thirty minutes on a question related to current events and then give a seven-minute speech answering that question.
Format of the Event
Structure Of A Speech
A successful Extemporaneous Speech has an introduction that catches the listener's attention, introduces the theme of the speech, and answers the question through three, or sometimes two, areas of analysis. These areas of analysis are followed by a conclusion, which summarizes the speech and may leave the audience with something to think about.
The introduction is usually structured as a 1-minute, 30-second section, with an attention-getter to grab the attention of the audience, background information, which often includes a source to build credibility, and a statement of significance, which tells the audience why the topic is important. After that, competitors conclude their introduction by going into a basic overview of the structure of the speech, including the question, an umbrella answer (sometimes called a thesis), and a preview of the three areas of analysis.
An individual point in Extemporaneous Speaking is typically structured like a basic paragraph, with a claim, warrant, and impact that collectively take up 1 minute and 30 seconds. Each point usually incorporates two to three sources to build credibility and provide information for analysis, and a mix of both broad argumentation and specific examples. Finally, the end of a point usually links back to the speaker's answer to the question, which functions as an impact. Some schools of thought argue that the impact of a point should link to a scenario outside of the scope of the question, but most competitive circuits in high school and collegiate competition value a link back to the answer to the question instead.
The conclusion, which lasts for between 30 seconds and 1 minute follows the basic format of the introduction, but backwards, starting with the speaker restating the question, answer, and review of the three points. Finally, the speech finishes with a "clincher"—a rhetorical tool that leaves an audience with something to think about.
During a speech, the "speakers triangle" is fairly common. In it, a competitor stands in the middle of the stage for the introduction, walks to the left for their first point, moves back to the middle for their second point, walks to the right for their third point, and walks to the middle (and sometimes forward) for their conclusion.
In addition using body language such as posture and hand movements is an important part of the event and many judges consider nonverbal communication as well as the structure of the speech.
Extemporaneous Speaking sometimes allows for the use of index cards, but many competitors forgo their usage as they hinder effective delivery, and most leagues do not allow them outside of novice competition.
In preparing an Extemporaneous Speech, competitors consult with a variety of sources and attempt to make an outline for their speech. Before personal computers, teams would bring tubs of newspapers and magazines with them around the country but now most competitors elect to store their sources on a laptop computer. However even after the invention of the internet, it's use was prohibited until fairly recently when many competitions started to allow it over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Types Of Extemp
Some tournaments both offer Domestic and International Extemp, focusing on issues in the United States and around the world respectively. However some tournaments, such as the Tournaments of Champions do not so most nationally competitive students are prepared for both.
During the speech, competitors are evaluated by way of comparison to the other speakers in a "round" of competition. Generally, there are five to seven competitors in a given round. Judges rank all students in a room in order, with the first rank being the best and the worst speaker ranked last (sixth, for example in a round of six competitors).
In High School competition, the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA), and the National Catholic Forensic League (CFL) govern most of the Extemp tournaments. However most tournaments are held by independent schools. Both leagues have a national tournament at the end of every year, with the NSDA tournament drawing a larger number of competitors. There is also the Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions, held each May at Northwestern University, the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions, and the Tournament of Championsat the University of Kentucky. In addition, there are highly prestigious national "circuit" tournaments. These include the Glenbrooks Tournament in Chicago, the Yale Invitational at Yale University, the Barkley Forum at Emory University, the Berkeley Tournament in University of California, Berkeley, and the Harvard Invitational at Harvard University. There are also a major round-robins, which has the prestige of a championship tournament, held at Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA).
In collegiate competition, a myriad of organizations provide national competition in Extemporaneous Speaking. The American Forensic Association (AFA) and the National Forensic Association(NFA) are organizations responsible for Extemporaneous speaking at the four year level, with Phi Rho Pi serving the two year, community college level. Other organizations that offer Extemporaneous Speaking competition include Pi Kappa Delta, Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, and the International Forensic Association. Collegiate competition is almost identical to High School competition, with most tournaments hosted by universities. The AFA hosts a National Individual Events Tournament (NIET), usually in April. The NFA hosts a separate tournament with easier qualification requirements known as NFA Nationals. Additionally, collegiate competition consists of dozens of tournaments across the country, like the Norton Invitational, hosted by Bradley University, and the Hell Froze Over swing tournament.
Most competition is held in the United States however countries around the world have Extemp tournaments.
Rankings for High School Extemporaneous Speaking are mainly maintained by the The Extemper's Bible.
Past NSDA Champions in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking
- 2020: James Gao (Ridge High School, New Jersey)
- 2019: Jacqueline Wei (Plano West Senior High School, Texas)
- 2018: Jacqueline Wei (Plano West Senior High School, Texas)
- 2017: Jacob Thompson (Des Moines Roosevelt High School, Iowa)
- 2016: Micah Cash (Booker T. Washington High School, Oklahoma)
- 2015: Brian Yu (Monte Vista High School, California)
- 2014: Arel Rende (Booker T. Washington High School, Oklahoma)
- 2013: Arel Rende (Booker T. Washington High School, Oklahoma)
- 2012: William McDonald (Brophy College Preparatory, Arizona)
- 2011: Jared Odessky (Nova High School, Florida)
- 2010: Tyler Fabbri (Chesterton High School, Indiana)
- 2009: Evan Larson (Bellarmine College Prep, California)
- 2008: Becca Goldstein (Newton South High School, Massachusetts)
- 2007: Alex Stephenson (Eagan High School, Minnesota)
- 2006: Colin West (Rocky Mountain High School, Colorado)
- 2005: James P. Hohmann (Eastview High School, Minnesota)
- 2004: James P. Hohmann (Eastview High School, Minnesota)
- 2003: Kevin Troy (Eagan High School, Minnesota)
- 2002: Jay Ward (Coral Springs High School, Florida)
- 2001: Jay Ward (Coral Springs High School, Florida)
- 2000: Isaac Potter (Taos High School, New Mexico)
- 1999: Ed Tulin (Marquette High School, Missouri)
- 1998: Lucas Kline (Blacksburg High School, Virginia)
- 1997: Adam Lauridsen (Bellarmine College Preparatory, California)
Past NSDA Champions in International Extemporaneous Speaking
- 2020: Angela Wang (Plano West Senior High School, Texas)
- 2019: Rene Otero (Pflugerville High School, Texas)
- 2018: Uzair Alpial (Plano West Senior High School, Texas)
- 2017: Connor Rothschild (Kickapoo High School, Missouri)
- 2016: Marshall Sloane (Milton Academy, Massachusetts)
- 2015: Brian Anderson (La Rue County High School, Kentucky)
- 2014: Miles Saffran (Trinity Preparatory School, Florida)
- 2013: Nathan Leys (Theodore Roosevelt High School, Iowa)
- 2012: Asheshananda Rambachan (Eastview High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota)
- 2011: Dylan Slinger (Lakeville South High School, Minnesota)
- 2010: Jacob Baker (Bellarmine College Prep, California)
- 2009: Stacey Chen (North Allegheny Senior High School, Pennsylvania)
- 2008: Akshar Rambachan (Eastview High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota)
- 2007: David Kumbroch (Collierville High School, Tennessee)
- 2006: Spencer Rockwell (Palisade High School, Colorado)
- 2005: Kevin Troy (Eagan High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota)
- 2004: Ishanaa N. Rambachan (Eastview High School, Minnesota)
- 2003: Daniel Hemel (Scarsdale High School, New York)
- 2002: John Jernigan (Chesterton High School, Indiana)
- 2001: Jesse Nathan (Moundridge High School, Kansas)
- 2000: Gilbert Lee (Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, New Jersey)
- 1999: Jessica Bailey (Apple Valley High School, Minnesota)
- 1998: Steven Wu (San Marino High School, California)
- 1997: Ben S. Lerner (Topeka High School, Kansas)
- "Competition Events". National Speech & Debate Association. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
- "NSDA Competition Guide" (PDF).
- "Public Speaking Strategies". saylordotorg.github.io. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
- "Tabroom.com". www.tabroom.com. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
- "High School Unified Manual" (PDF).
- "National Points Race". The Extemper's Bible. 2020-08-16. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
- "National Speech & Debate Tournament Results".