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 Post subject: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Chrissy's Secret Agent
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Hello speakers,

I know very well that impromptu speaking does not come naturally for me. I used to be a very shy person, which is why I got involved in speech & debate in the first place! :D I haven't had much impromptu practice in my speech career; only one tournament two years ago. But I am taking the DSST Public Speaking test very soon. (It'll be before the next qualifier, so I won't have any more tournament imp practice.) It consists of some multiple-choice questions and then a recorded impromptu speech that:

1) you have 10 minutes to prepare for
2) is 3 minutes minimum and 5 minutes maximum
3) is good! :P

(More info: http://www.getcollegecredit.com/images/ ... 110211.pdf )

Now for you experienced speech-ers this sounds easy, I know. But for someone who struggles with impromptu (like me!), it's rather nerve-wracking. Can you awesome speakers give me advice on how to use my time to prepare a rock-solid impromptu speech?

Thanks!
Alison


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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Location: Mars, obviously.
Breathe. Pray.
Think about your topic in context of what you've been learning for school, in church, or what you see happening in the world. Ten minutes is a long time-- if you are allowed a pen and paper, write a skeleton outline of your speech like you would for a timed essay.
Once you have that skeleton outline, start thinking about how you want to phrase your introduction. If I have a solid introduction, the rest of the speech comes smoothly, and I can easily tie my conclusion into it. :)
Hope that helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:51 am 
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I tend to follow a consistent formula for my impromptu's, which makes them much less intimidating and pumps out consistently stellar speeches. I start with a basic three point speech that follows this pattern:

1) Analyze the word/phrase/quote/whatever given
2) Provide my stance on the word/phrase/quote/whatever given
3) Provide a challenge to the audience.

With that in mind, I draw my topic and sit down. Filling in the blanks is easy. Once I fill in the second point, I also have a thesis for the speech. Then I just think about how to open and close it and I'm good! That might look really overly simply, so let me give you a brief example. Let's say I drew the topic 'fear' This would be my outline:

1) What is fear
2) Why we should never feel fear
3) What we should do about fear

Looking at my second point, I can derive from my stance the simple thesis that 'fear is unnecessary. My speech would then look like this.

Opening
Thesis: Fear isn't necessary
1) What is fear
2) Why we should never feel fear
3) What we should do about fear
Closing - wrap it all together with whatever rhetoric comes to mind.

And there you have a speech! This works for most topics you can draw, and with ten minutes you can probably think up a fun opening and can get it all together in your head. And you're done! The speech sounds extremely logical and well thought out, and is a breeze to put together relatively speaking.

Hopefully you find part of it helpful! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:12 am 
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Glassman wrote:
I tend to follow a consistent formula for my impromptu's, which makes them much less intimidating and pumps out consistently stellar speeches. I start with a basic three point speech that follows this pattern:

1) Analyze the word/phrase/quote/whatever given
2) Provide my stance on the word/phrase/quote/whatever given
3) Provide a challenge to the audience.

With that in mind, I draw my topic and sit down. Filling in the blanks is easy. Once I fill in the second point, I also have a thesis for the speech. Then I just think about how to open and close it and I'm good! That might look really overly simply, so let me give you a brief example. Let's say I drew the topic 'fear' This would be my outline:

1) What is fear
2) Why we should never feel fear
3) What we should do about fear


That sounds remarkably similar to what I do, except my second point usually has to do with examples. So it would be "Where we can see fear." And my final point is a challenge and my thesis together.

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Josh McCroskey


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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:07 pm 
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Location: Annihilating your frisbee.
Ginger Josh wrote:
That sounds remarkably similar to what I do, except my second point usually has to do with examples. So it would be "Where we can see fear." And my final point is a challenge and my thesis together.


I'll usually use an example under point two that illustrates why we shouldn't fear, so that's typically where I give my examples as well. (In this case with fear, I would probably just stick with rhetoric about God providing for us, but most of the time I'll give a story/example.) So what I do is literally a carbon copy of your style. xD

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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Glassman wrote:
Ginger Josh wrote:
That sounds remarkably similar to what I do, except my second point usually has to do with examples. So it would be "Where we can see fear." And my final point is a challenge and my thesis together.


I'll usually use an example under point two that illustrates why we shouldn't fear, so that's typically where I give my examples as well. (In this case with fear, I would probably just stick with rhetoric about God providing for us, but most of the time I'll give a story/example.) So what I do is literally a carbon copy of your style. xD

Well, hey, it seems to be working for you, so have at it.

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Josh McCroskey


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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:06 am 
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Chrissy's Secret Agent
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Thanks for your help, guys! I'm hoping on taking the test at the end of this week. Wish me luck! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:35 pm 
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I was just about to do a forum topic similar to this. :)

I have a question related to impromptu. I'm doing "traditional NCFCA" impromptu where I get 2 minutes of prep to do a 5 minute speech. I've done well this year (I got 5th overall in Greenville and made semis in Columbia, and believe me, R8 has some phen.nom.en.al. impromptuers) but I want to take it to the next level: I want to start doing impromptus that grab the audience's attention.

My impromptus usually follow this layout:
Opening - personal story, either dramatic or funny
1 - What does topic/quote/word etc. mean?
2 - why is this important?
3 - how to apply to our lives
Closing - summary of points, sometimes I remember to tie back to my opening :P

See, I do well and then get in the finals rounds, and then I realize that my content is not as interesting/creative as my opponents. Any tips on developing a creative stance/strategy for impromp speeches? Thanks!

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2013-2014 | Rose/Schvaneveldt | UADC | R8

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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Here are some tips from several years back.


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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:32 pm 
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emilyerose wrote:
I was just about to do a forum topic similar to this. :)

I have a question related to impromptu. I'm doing "traditional NCFCA" impromptu where I get 2 minutes of prep to do a 5 minute speech. I've done well this year (I got 5th overall in Greenville and made semis in Columbia, and believe me, R8 has some phen.nom.en.al. impromptuers) but I want to take it to the next level: I want to start doing impromptus that grab the audience's attention.

My impromptus usually follow this layout:
Opening - personal story, either dramatic or funny
1 - What does topic/quote/word etc. mean?
2 - why is this important?
3 - how to apply to our lives
Closing - summary of points, sometimes I remember to tie back to my opening :P

See, I do well and then get in the finals rounds, and then I realize that my content is not as interesting/creative as my opponents. Any tips on developing a creative stance/strategy for impromp speeches? Thanks!


Hey, Emily Rose!

The advice people gave Alison is great, but for NCFCA, the formula model will only take you so far (as you are realizing). I did NCFCA impromptu for five years and won regionals three times and second at nationals last year. I tell you that not to brag, but so you know that I have analyzed my impromptu speeches from about every angle I can possibly think of in order to keep pushing myself to the next level each year. In other words, I feel your pain!

For me, making a good impromptu speech all goes back to actually asking yourself the fundamental question, "Why am I competing in impromptu?" If your goal in competing is to be able to speak in a polished manner on your feet, the formula method works. However, while the formula method makes for very structured, polished speeches, it also tends to make for very flat speeches and it by the third or fourth tournament you start to feel like a mindless machine stuck in the same grove going over and over and over again!!! :D After a couple years of impromptu, I was so sick of this feeling that I decided I didn't care what I finished anymore and I wanted to make impromptu a ministry. That may sound strange, but think about it--you have three judges stuck in front of you who HAVE to listen to you! CHANGE their lives! Make them cry, laugh, feel, want to dance, whatever! And, lo and behold, my impromptus got soooooo much better. I was happy, judges were happy (or crying), my mom was happy--happiness abounded! :D

The one thing was that (at least in my region) parents still reeeeeeally want to see three points, so I found a way of putting my new and improved more-interesting speeches into a three point model. It looks like this:

Opener
Thesis (basically the overall point I want them to take away from my speech)
1. (thought or example that supports thesis)
2. (thought or example that supports thesis)
3. (thought or example that supports thesis)
Conclusion

So basically it is a mini-persuasive speech.

So here is an example of what the content might be:

Topic: "Miracles"

Opener: quote I have memorized about miracles, introduce topic, thesis, and three points supporting thesis
Thesis: We can only recognize and experience miracles when we believe they are possible
1. Story about Booker T. Washington believing the impossible was possible and miracles resulting
2. Discussion of how a group of people in history never reached their full potential because they didn't think miracles were possible
3. Personal story about a miracle I prayed for about my Grandpa that God made a reality
Closer: restate thesis and points, refer back to opening quote about miracles, maybe a little challenge or something.

The trick here is to impact each point back to your thesis. You don't ever have to say the words "thesis" or "points" but they will be there nevertheless.

As to making sure that the content is creative, start keeping a mental notebook of inspiring or convicting things that you hear about or that happen to you. Think about what God has been doing in your life or in the lives of those around you. I kept both a mental and a physical notebook.

If you really put your heart into into and stray from the typical forumula, you can really impact the judges. I never make it a goal to make judges cry (I don't think it's a good goal), but I'm thinking that probably a quarter of my impromptu judges cried last year.
Before I branched out and got creative, that pretty much never happened. If your heart is in it, you will shine

Good luck!!

Rebecca

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 Post subject: Re: Impromptu!
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Adding a thought to this resurrected thread since it was already referenced:

There are many possible speech formats for impromptus. I coach my speech students in several format structures (we call them "roadmaps"), and they practice in each of them so that they have "tools in their toolbox." Some of the roadmaps we practice include:
Past, Present, Future
Plus, Minus, Me
Five Senses
Book, Scroll, Journal
Cause, Effect, Solution
Changing Perspective (general to specific or vice-versa)

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