Friday, August 17, 2007

flaws in extemporaneous speaking contests

Extemporaneous speaking is one of the best methods of speech delivery. The speaker here is given enough time to do research and read exhaustively about the topic. However, there are flaws to this when this method is used in inter-school contests. One, the student might not understand that preparation is not memorization. Extemporaneous speaking is not oratorical because the latter is memorized. While it is true that speakers are given ample time to prepare for an extemporaneous speaking activity, it should not result to the memorization of any piece based on the given theme. The general theme is where the sub-topics will be based and not the topic itself. The contestant should talk about the sub-topic that she picks and not about the general theme which serves only as guide while preparing for the said activity. Failure to work on the picked sub-topic will make the contestant off-topic.

Organizers of extemporaneous speaking contests should have concrete rules and guidelines that the contestants will follow. For instance, part of the rule should be the contestant's reading of the topic picked. This can even be tricky you know because there could be some unscrupulous contestants who might pretend to read out a topic that wasn't given by the committee. To prevent this kind of fraudulence from happening, a member of the committee should, after the 3-minute preparation, get the piece of paper and read the topic to the audience before the contestant starts his speech.

In a recent extempo contest a few constestants "forgot" (?) or missed to read their topics so that the judges while listening to their beautiful speeches weren't guided as to the relevance of the speeches. In order to avoid this, a member of the organizing committee should do the reading of the topic itself when their 3-minutes' preparation is up.

No comments: