Monday, September 27, 2010

Impromptu speaking, Table Topics, and the other NFL

Toastmasters meetings incorporate an impromptu speaking portion called Table Topics. Very recently Andrew Williams even created a whole web site about it, called Table-Topics Tips.

College and high school debaters have competed in longer impromptu speaking and extemporaneous speaking events, and there is a literature about how to do it. For example, San Diego State University has a pair of web pages written by Andrew Wood on Thesis Development in Impromptu Speaking and Argument Construction in Impromptu Speaking.

If you ask most US residents what the acronym NFL stands for, they will reply it’s the National Football League. High school debaters will instead tell you that in the other NFL the F is for Forensic. The National Forensic League publishes a magazine called The Rostrum. Page 35 of the March 2010 issue has a five page article by Robert Carroll about Organizing an Impromptu Speech Using Unified, Dialectic, and Critical Analysis. You can find more Rostrum articles about impromptu and extemporaneous speaking here.

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