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Wednesday Claps with Coach Wiley #3: Extemp Speaking Love and Revisiting "The Half Hour: Prep Room" Series Created by YuYu Yuan and Spencer Travis

Updated: Apr 25

The third of weekly Wiley Wednesday Speech and Debate blogs brings back The Half Hour Prep Room - some classic Extemporaneous Speaking knowledge nuggets in a five-part series from Extemp experts YuYu Yuan and Spencer Travis.

I love all of the events that are offered in the Speech and Debate competitive universe, but when push comes to shove, I'll usually declare Extemporaneous Speaking to be my favorite event. Why do I appreciate Extemp so much? Well, here are five quick reasons why (I think) Extemp rules:

  1. Quick Thinking and Adaptability: Extemporaneous speaking hones your ability to think on your feet and respond to questions or topics with short prep time. This skill is invaluable not only in competitive speaking but also in everyday situations where quick thinking and adaptability are invaluable.

  2. Research Skills and Knowledge Acquisition: Extemporaneous speaking encourages continuous learning and research. In order to do well in the event, speakers must stay informed about current events, trends, and global issues. Researching and acquiring knowledge broadens your understanding of the world and keeps you intellectually and socially engaged.

  3. Effective Communication Skills: Extemporaneous speaking requires concise and articulate communication. Speakers learn how to organize their thoughts coherently, present complex ideas, and engage their audience in a meaningful, personal way. These communication skills are transferable to many aspects of a healthy professional and personal life.

  4. Critical Thinking and Analysis: Extemporaneous Speaking cultivates critical thinking and analytical skills. Speakers must assess multiple perspectives on a given topic, evaluate evidence, and construct persuasive arguments in a short timeframe. This ability to quickly analyze information and form logical arguments is beneficial in decision-making processes and problem-solving scenarios.

  5. Confidence and Poise Under Pressure: Engaging in extemporaneous speaking builds confidence and poise under pressure. Facing questions or topics in front of an audience challenges speakers to remain composed, confident, and persuasive. Over time, this experience fosters resilience and self-assurance, empowering individuals to tackle challenging situations with grace and composure.

Feel free to disagree, but I think Extemporaneous Speaking is especially fabulous for these reasons (and more). That is why I wanted to take a moment to bask in the glory of a short series that was put together by two Extemporaneous Speaking ambassadors and champions: YuYu Yuan and Spencer Travis. YuYu and Spencer have spent countless hours constructing episodes of The Half Hour - a show committed to exploring how Extemporaneous Speakers could approach a variety of current events. A while back, YuYu and Spencer did a special, five-part series dedicated to tools and techniques to enhance Extemp skills called The Half Hour: Prep Room, and you can check all of them out right here!

The Half Hour: Prep Room - All Five Episodes:

Learn the art of hooking your audience from the start with captivating introductions.

Explore the different types of questions commonly encountered in extemp rounds: Predictive, Descriptive, and Prescriptive.

Unlock the secrets to effective research for extemporaneous speaking.

Learn the importance of smooth transitions in maintaining the flow and coherence of your speech.

Dive into the fundamentals of structuring and organizing your extemporaneous speech. Learn how to create a solid framework that enhances the clarity and impact of your message, ensuring your points are delivered effectively.

Tune in to The Half Hour: Prep Room and elevate your extemporaneous speaking game to new heights. Whether you're a seasoned competitor or just starting out, this series is a valuable guide to mastering the art of Extemp Speaking.

Check out back issues of The Half Hour here:


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