Rikki Eskelund tried Extemporaneous Speaking her Senior year. Although she tried every single event in her NCFCA career, she wishes that she had done Extemp before her last year, as it has been a huge benefit to her in post-NCFCA life! Currently, Rikki is pursuing a degree in professional communication dealing with managing and marketing.
The goal of Extemporaneous is to encourage the speaker to analyze and evaluate news and other sources and formulate solutions to current issues.
Competitors have 20 minutes of preparation time for 7 minute Speech.
1. Why did you decide to participate in Extemp?
I actually decided to do extemp because of a deal that I made with my debate partner. I was much more comfortable with interps and he was more limited-prep focused. So my last year competing we made a deal that I would do extemp and he would do an interp. I’ll forever be thankful that we made that deal! My last year competing I also decided that I wanted to try all of the events I had never done before. That really pushed me outside of my box, but I’m thankful I gave it a shot.
2. What were some of your apprehensions?
Because I had never done extemp before (or really been that interested in current events), I was a little worried that I would have no idea what I was talking about. I think the fear of embarrassing myself pushed me to work much harder staying up to date with things happening. Because I worked hard, I never got a card where I didn’t know at least something about one of the questions. My family can tell you, I started ALWAYS talking about things happening in the news!
3. What was the greatest benefit?
The greatest benefit I got from extemp was learning research and analysis. You have to be able to talk about current events, but you also have to analyze and draw conclusions about different situations. After graduating, I started working for a non-profit organization doing a lot of political research and writing to our members with the results from elections and such. Having that experience in extemp has made my job much easier and a lot more enjoyable.
4. What would you say to someone thinking about it?
My advice to someone thinking about extemp:
Don’t wait! I waited until my senior year to try it and that is probably one of my biggest regrets in NCFCA. So at least give it a try. You never know, you might end up loving it just like I did.
Put the work in. Just like other speech events, actually doing the work beforehand is going to benefit you in the competition room. Read the news, read The Economist magazine, do practice speeches. I would also suggest actually filing articles of your own. It seems like a lot of work, but you do get pretty familiar with things going on. It also teaches you to look for the things happening that are most important.
Have fun! I know most people think that current events are pretty boring, but you can make it fun. Try some alliterations and don’t be afraid to throw in a couple jokes here and there. Sometimes the judges need a little chuckle in the middle of a long extemp round.