One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast

Long Winter's Clap 6: Extemporaneous Speaking (Feat. EXTEMP Tips from YuYu Yuan and Jean-Luc Willson)

January 23, 2021 Lyle Wiley / YuYu Yuan / Jean-Luc Willson Season 2 Episode 39
One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast
Long Winter's Clap 6: Extemporaneous Speaking (Feat. EXTEMP Tips from YuYu Yuan and Jean-Luc Willson)
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to A Long Winter's Clap: 12 Days of Speech and Debate Event Overviews and Resources.  Today we are taking on Extemporaneous Speaking - featuring tips from Cheyenne East Speech and Debate Senior YuYu Yuan and Hot Springs County High School Junior Jean-Luc Willson.  Be sure to check out all of YuYu and Jean-Luc's  extemp hacks and other resources on our website.

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Clappy New Year, friends!

Lyle here - your gingerbread house destroying, sidewalk ice slippin’, and hot cider sippin’ host of the One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast.  Things may feel less and less like winter lately, and the Holidays are probably well in our taillights…  but still I come once again bearing gifts!

Welcome to A Long Winter’s Clap - 12 Days Speech and Debate Event Overviews.

For these episodes, One Clap will be delivering event overviews and resources that I hope will be helpful for novice judges, coaches, or competitors.  

What are these episodes?  Well, for each episode I will provide a quick overview of the chosen event, a couple of sweet or spicy tips for each event from expert coaches or competitors, and links to helpful resources to help you rock your performance on our website.  These overviews are not meant to be comprehensive, but should hopefully give you some information on each event and then provide resources for an independent deep dive for listeners.

Settle in for a helpful event-overview gift for your speech-loving ears from One Clap Speech and Debate!

Extemporaneous Speaking

aka Extemp an individual event in which a competitor draws three current domestic or international topics, chooses one topic from these three drawn topics, prepares for thirty minutes, and then presents an evidence supported, logical, and engaging speech five to seven minutes in length.

Here is a description straight from the NSDA competition guide:

“Extemporaneous Speaking, typically called extemp, is a speech on current events with limited preparation time. A student’s understanding of important political, economic, and cultural issues is assessed along with critical thinking and analytical skills. 

Students have a lot to do in 30 minutes—they must select a question, review research, outline arguments with supporting materials, and practice at least part of the speech before time expires. Many tournaments prohibit the consultation of notes during the speech in which case speech structure and evidence need to be memorized during prep time as well.”

Extempers live on the edge a little bit.  They go into Extemp Draw and find out their topic and then rush to research, write, and memorize a speech that will wow judges in a round… all in 30 minutes.

Full confession: Extemp is probably my favorite event.  I love what it does for student competitors.  Excellent extempers need to be keeping up with current events both domestic and international, they need to be masters of organizational writing and speaking, they need to be able to quickly and efficiently research all sorts of topics, they need to be able to connect with judges using the ethos, pathos, and logos tools in their speaking belt. 

I have some great tips from two extremely talented performers today: first, YuYu Yuan - Cheyenne East Senior debater and speaker of both Wyoming and National distinction - has five super smart hacks for Extemporaneous debaters…  then, Jean-Luc Willson - accomplished Hot Springs County High School debater, competitor, and all-around great guy - will share his six key things to keep in mind for an Extemporaneous speech.

YuYu's Tips

1. Read and Listen to the News
2. Figure Out Your Speech Style
3. Develop a Memorization Strategy
4.  Have Confidence
5.  Have Fun!

Jean-Luc's Tips
Best Things to Keep in Mind for an Extemp Speech

  1. Do what you need with your prep time: You don’t need to stick to an exact structure when using your prep, just be sure to leave yourself enough time to practice. Don’t be afraid to use a couple extra minutes than you normally would to find good content, that’s the most important part of the speech.
  2. Only practice the important bits: If you find yourself a little strapped for time, just make sure that you're practicing what is important, like the attention getter and the quotes. The rest of it can be filled in naturally, but those pieces are super important to have practiced.
  3. Use a good attention getter: After a judge has watched six different extemp speeches, they’re not going to remember every little detail for the ranking. They will, however, remember a really good attention getter used at the beginning and the end of the speech. Try to use something relatable to the judge, like a tv show, a song, or a personal story that you can relate to your topic. Make sure you flow that attention getter into the topic, and always make sure to reference at the end of the speech.
  4. Don’t apologize for your stumbles: Everyone gets off a little bit, but many judges won;t notice it if you don’t tell them. It is much better to just try and move on. If you’re stumbling a lot, it may mean you need to slow your pace down a little bit. Take a small breath and continue from where you left off, with a little more focus. These stumbles will become less frequent over time, but they will never go away, so make sure you know how to deal with them.
  5. Be knowledgeable of the world: The best thing you can do to prepare yourself for extemp speeches is have a small level of knowledge about the topic before you even get it. Go over the NSDA list of practice extemp topics and do a little bit of research so that you know what is going on with that topic and when you draw them or topics similar to them you can just find the quotes to fit into your speech.
  6. Answer the question: Make sure that you are using your body points to prove your answer to the question. Background should go in the introduction, the body should be dedicated to constructing an argument about the topic that answers the question that was given to you. 

Thanks so much to YuYu and Jean-Luc  for the gift of this Extemporaneous Speaking wisdom for competitors.

Somehow, I don’t really have an episode of One Clap that keys in on Extemp Speaking just yet.  I’m sure I will soon, but for now, I will go ahead and link to other helpful resources for Extemporaneous Speaking on  If you have or know of more resources for students, coaches, or judges - reach out and let me know.  I’ll link to these resources on the website as well! 

If you have an idea or a request for One Clap Speech and Debate, shoot me an email at [email protected] or reach out on the One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast website or social media - linked in the show notes.

This New Year, maybe consider supporting One Clap Speech and Debate by checking out our patreon page linked in the show notes.  You can partner with me on this journey for as little as 1 dollar a month and stop patronage at any time!

Be sure to subscribe, rate, and review the One Clap Podcast wherever you listen!  Watch for new episodes of One Clap, Rock On! Debate, Coach Connection, and Speech Love!

Thank you for listening, best of luck to everyone out there competing at tournaments, and again - Clappy New Year from One Clap!