Delivery Extemp Content and Strategy

The Extemper’s Bible, The Book

Guess what? We have a book now. It’s name? Well, the title of our website. By Krish Shah with Govind Pattathil and Vikram Sundaram as contributors.

True to our organization’s name, we have released a book titled The Extemper’s Bible. Creative stuff, I know. Written by Krish Shah with Govind Pattathil and Vikram Sundaram as contributors, The Extemper’s Bible starts from the fundamentals of extemp before building up to its intricacies at the highest level. To build up some hype, I managed to wrangle out a sneak preview of the first chapters. You can purchase the whole book on Amazon here in paperback or eBook formats.

Chapter 0: Why Extemp?

What is Extemp?

Extemp, or extemporaneous speaking, is an event in speech and debate where you have 30 minutes to prepare and 7 minutes to deliver a speech to an audience over an impromptu topic covering foreign or domestic current events.

Extemp has great benefits that can be narrowed down into 4 main categories:

  • Developing Public Speaking Skills
  • More Involvement in Foreign and Domestic News
  • A Great Look on your Resume
  • Garnering Connections

Developing Public Speaking Skills

Public speaking sparks a fear that resonates within many throughout their life. People are terrified of messing up in front of an audience. Extemp tackles this fear through a series of incremental steps. When you are preparing for your first tournament, a friend listens to your speech, giving you feedback. As you become more accustomed to giving a speech to one person, whether in the preliminary rounds of tournaments (consisting of 1 judge) or through practice, you get better. Eventually, you make it to a semi-final or final round (consisting of 3+ judges), broadcasting your skills to more people. This process takes slow steps, but by speaking to a gradually larger audience, stage fright, among the other wrinkles in public speaking, slowly iron themselves out.

More Involvement in Foreign and Domestic News

A common problem for many in society today is the absence of knowledge about what is going on around them. The notion that you have no power to change something with the scope of an entire nation, or even the entire world, is incorrect. It is critical to know what is happening around you and to be inspired to make a change. Extemp is a great tool that helps you learn about world or domestic issues and implement your knowledge into a speech: informing another person about why it is so important to understand what is happening around them. With more speeches delivered and more articles read, your knowledge substantially grows about the world around you, developing your awareness and your ability to make others more aware. 

A Great Look on your Resume

Because extemp is mostly a high school event, it has several benefits on a resume or college portfolio. Extemp is a solo event; therefore, you will not have to rely on a partner for your success. It is solely based on you and how well you do. This also means that it has a greater impact on a resume compared to other events, such as debate events, because any success is directly attributed to you. In addition, as you go through your extemp journey, the accolades that you receive, such as qualifying to state, TOC’s, or even nationals, can boost your resume tremendously.

Garnering Connections

Extemp is an event in speech and debate that consists of a large community across the nation. Because of the breadth of the event, many who place highly in tournaments are admitted into top echelon universities/colleges. Due to the inherit spontaneity of the event, extemp rounds typically take less time than other events. Thus, during breaks between rounds, many extempers get to meet each other and develop relationships. Meeting new extempers during such tournaments can create connections that you may use later in high school or even university/college.

Chapter 1: The Basics of an Extemp Outline

How to Prepare a Speech in Extemp

Preparation of an extemp speech follows an outline that provides structure to your speech. The outline can be broken down into 3 sections: the introduction, points, and conclusion. These 3 sections are further broken down into several parts that make up each section. The outline goes as follows:


The introduction is your first impression. It is important to start strong and build momentum throughout your speech. The introduction can be broken down into 7 individual sectors: AGD, Link, Background, Significance Statement, Question, Answer, and Roadmap.


The AGD, otherwise known as the attention-getting device, is a compelling story, fact, or joke which grabs the attention of the judge. The purpose of an AGD is to engross the judge into your speech right away. 


The link is exactly what it sounds like. The link goes after the AGD, connecting the central idea of the AGD to a more refined scope which is more specific to your question. The link is critical in not being awkward when transitioning from your AGD to your background.


The background is the most important part of an introduction. It helps in defining certain terms within the question which may be confusing for the judge. In addition, it provides a summary of what is going on with the issue or what has happened in the past surrounding the topic. This usually helps contextualize the topic for the judge, thus setting up the rest of your speech. 

Significance Statement

The significance statement is critical to the judge’s understanding of why the question should be asked right now. Simply put, it stresses why the topic matters.  This usually involves aspects of the economy, political power, or lives.


After your significant statement, the question is posed. It is important to say the question verbatim (word for word); otherwise, you may be accused of not answering the question. Thus, during your prep, memorize it.


The answer is usually one of two options:

  1. Yes/No, thesis: You answer yes or no based on what you had researched. Then, you explain an overarching reason (typically called an umbrella answer) that explains why you picked the yes/no answer. This overarching reason encapsulates all of your points.
  2. Descriptive, thesis: You answer descriptively based on the phrasing of the question. Then, you give an overarching reason (umbrella answer) that explains the reasoning behind the answer. Once again, the reasoning must encapsulate all of your points.


The roadmap is critical for the judge to be able to envision what your points are going to be about. The roadmap must be concise and include your “tag(s)”. The tag is a 2-5 word summary of what your point is about.


Now we are going to dissect the composition of a point. Points are usually structured with an ontop, subpoint A, link, subpoint B, and tie-back/impact statement (in a point). The following structure applies to all three points throughout your speech.


The ontop is the transition used to transition either between points or from the roadmap (if it is your first point). This transition can include a one-line joke, a statistic, or something relevant to your upcoming point. They shouldn’t be the same for all your points; pick a different ontop for between each point.

Subpoint A

Subpoint A is the first part of your “substructure”. Substructure is a topic that will be explained further in the book. For now, research and cite a source and explain what the source is about in subpoint A. There must be a piece of analysis that shows your line of reasoning from the evidence (which you got from your source) to justify your point.


The link is optional between your points, but when going from subpoint A to subpoint B, it is a good idea to add a transition that connects both subpoints.

Subpoint B

Subpoint B is the second part of your substructure. It is important to support subpoint A, explain your logic further, and link the evidence back to the main idea of your point.

Tie-Back/Impact Statement

The tie-back/impact statement is the last sentence of your point. It should explain how the point relates to your answer. It should also provide a real-world impact of the point detailed.


The conclusion is the last step of an extemp speech. It is important to close out your speeches effectively and concisely. The general structure to the conclusion is as follows: transition statement, question, answer, roadmap, and tie-back/impact statement (in the conclusion).

Transition Statement

The transition statement is a one sentence transition from the last point to the conclusion.


The question portion of the conclusion is simply restating the question exactly.


The answer portion of the conclusion is where you deliver your answer just like the introduction.


The roadmap portion of the conclusion is where you give the exact roadmap given during your introduction.

Tie-Back/Impact Statement

The tie-back/impact statement is the delivery of an impact statement, similar your statement of significance. Many extempers tie the conclusion back to their AGD. Try to end on a reference that matches the joke/story of your AGD to provide a complete feeling to your speech.


Introduction Example

AGD: Phillipe Martinez is a beggar in Venezuela, and every day he goes to his spot to beg for food, water, and clothes. But the saddest part is that Phillipe Martinez is just 7 years old.

Link: Thousands of cases like Phillipe’s have resulted in millions fleeing Venezuela seeking asylum from the dictatorship of Nicholas Maduro.

Background: As the AP News further explains, on Feb 8th of 2021, Colombia’s president Ivan Duque, a moderate conservative, recently passed a law to accept migrants from Venezuela into Columbia. This moderate conservative front is shocking when it comes to an age-old region of extreme conservatism within Latin America. However, seeing as accepting foreign immigrants is a liberal idea (in a highly dense right-leaning region), it is unlikely that there will be a power shift.

Significant Statement: But considering that millions are fleeing from Venezuela with nowhere but Columbia to go to, resulting in thousands being homeless, it is imperative that we ask today’s question…

Question: Will other Latin American countries follow Colombia’s lead in handling migrants from Venezuela?

Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is an absolute no, because of the right fundamentalist beliefs that are not likely to change in the near future. More specifically, because…


  1. Lack of nearby elections within Latin America
  2. Dictator-like politics of conservatives holding onto power
  3. Coronavirus issues across Latin American society

Point Example

Ontop: To garner a change in society, the first step is to vote. But, in countries throughout Latin America, they can’t for another 2-4 years.

Subpoint A: As the BBC mentions on January 5th of 2021, Venezuela’s “dictator”, Nicholas Maduro, was only recently elected in 2018. Due to the way the Venezuelan election cycle works, Venezuelans can only vote for another president in 2024: a six-year gap!

Subpoint B: The Economist further analyzes on February 6th of 2021, that this is consistent throughout key conservative strongholds in Latin America. The lack of another voting cycle is resulting in the public having, essentially, no power to dethrone the existing government.

Tie/Impact Statement: Because of the lack of elections, right fundamentalist views are likely to remain in Latin America, resulting in the liberal idea of accepting migrants not getting the light it deserves.

Conclusion Example

Transition Sentence: When returning to today’s question…

Question: Will other Latin American countries follow Colombia’s lead in handling migrants from Venezuela?

Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no, because of the right fundamentalist beliefs that are not likely to change in the near future.


  1. Lack of 2021 elections within Latin America
  2. Dictator-like politics of conservatives holding onto power
  3. Coronavirus issues across Latin American society

Tie-back/Impact Statement: Thus, when considering that thousands are in the streets begging for change, let’s hope that Latin American governments can change to create a better life for those like Felipe.

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