Extemporaneous Speaking, typically called extemp, is a speech on United States 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 report to a draw room (often referred to as extemp prep) where all of the extempers gather at tables, set out their files, and await their turn to draw topics.
Students may access research brought with them to the tournament during the 30-minute preparation period. When prep time is up, the student reports to the competition room to deliver a 7 minute speech. 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.