Looking for a list of drills to practice? Look no further!
- Musical Filing: You put on a song & everyone reads/files until the end of the song. Then, everyone quickly summarizes one important point they learned. Works best in groups of 5 to 10.
- AGD Transition Game: Rattle off unrelated extemp topics (the Iran Nuclear Deal, the 2022 midterms, Uzbekistan’s economy). The speaker has to effectively link them together until they either stumble or pause for too long. If they make it three minutes without stuttering, they “win.”
- Passage Discussion Round Table: Everyone should read a passage in a larger article, highlight important information, and come back to summarize that information. Works well for very long think tank briefings you can analyze as a team.
- Policymaker: Generate hypothetical questions (make them fun on occasion too!) and everybody generates some solutions or acts how that politician would. This helps get people into the minds of those people. As an example, “You are Jair Bolsonaro and China promised to invest $100 billion over the next 10 years with no strings attached. How do you take full advantage of this opportunity to grow Brazil’s economy while boosting your own popularity?” For something less complex: “You are Joe Biden and Germany leaves the European Union. How should the US respond?”
- Topic Debates: This is similar to Policymaker, except you encourage general discussion over a topic and debate the merits of different solutions and assess whether or not the issue in question is even a threat to begin with. For example, “Medicare-for-All: Is it a viable healthcare system?” One group should take the pro side, another the con side, and someone else should be the moderator. Everyone should come to practice prepared with evidence.
- Ask the Expert: Everybody does some research on a specific topic & then is extensively cross-examined on that topic. They should do some research on the questions they couldn’t answer & give answers afterward.
- Random Country Game: Good impacting game. Everybody is assigned a random country & does 10-15 minutes of research on it. Then, you host some debates where each side gets 2 minutes to explain why their country is the most important and 1 minute of rebuttal. Afterward, people can decide the “winner.” This helps find effective statements of significance for IX questions.
- Book Summaries: Everybody is given a book and they have to find some book summary and write down the 3-5 most important things and summarize that book to the rest of the group.
- The Newscaster: Name as many developing stories as you can off of the top of your head. Make it a competition to see who can name the most.
- Satan Speeches: 1 minute of prep, 7 minutes of speaking. Yes, it’s hard. Modify as needed for novices.
- The Psychic: Pick a current event (Iran nuclearization), and come up with three possible scenarios (Iran never nuclearizes and the regime collapses; Iran never nuclearizes and a new deal is resigned with Joe Biden in 2022; Iran nuclearizes and becomes the powerhouse of the Middle East). Determine what variables impact these choices (Iran’s economic strength, threats from other countries, how willing would the US be to re-sign the deal, etc.) and then rank them in order of probability.
- The Concision Drill: Contest to see who has the best & shortest explanation of a complex current event. People will vote on it.
- Fun Introduction Game: Everyone stands in a circle and is assigned random occupations (doctor, soldier, scientist, etc.) And you pretend that everyone is stranded on a deserted island, and someone has to be sacrificed for food. You go around, and everyone makes their case on why they should be kept alive based on their occupation and the benefits it would provide to the group. After a full lap of the circle, the circle “votes out” the person who makes the least compelling case on why they should be kept alive, and then repeat the cycle from there. The Doctor, the Soldier, the Pilot, the Child, the Politician, the Scientist, the Gym Buff, and the Old Man.
- Disad Game: People are given two very unrelated things and are trying to link them in as little steps as possible (jaywalking → wall street crashes, for example). This forces people’s narratives to be concise too.
- Seamless Transitions: Given a political topic (Kentucky Senate Race) and then three random words (pickles, Wall Street, and algebra II). They have 1 minute to seamlessly tie the three words in throughout the 1 minute. Forces really smooth delivery.
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