Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking

International Extemporaneous Speaking (also called Foreign International Extemporaneous Speaking, and variously contracted to International Extemp, Foreign Extemp, FX, FEX, or IX) is a style of competitive speaking sponsored by the National Forensic League. It is identical in structure to U.S. Extemp, except that the topics are focused on world affairs, rather than U.S. affairs. It is also considered to be one of the most demanding topics available.

The speech is to be delivered entirely from memory. Well-received speeches generally emphasize both the oratorical and analytical aspects of the presentation. A good speaker typically employs the thirty-minute period of preparation in finding relevant and reliable references in magazines, books, and newspapers, and other such newsworthy sources that are later cited during the speech to provide backing. Extemp, as many call it, is unique because a different topic is spoken on in every round.

In most tournaments, USX and IX competitors are gathered into the extemp prep room, where they leave their files of newspaper, magazine cuttings, and internet articles for the duration of the tournament. In many tournaments, the prep room is often a school library (whose magazine collection can be a minor boon to those without up-to-date files). Thirty minutes before their assigned speaking time, each competitor draws three topics (at random) from a pool, selects one of the topics, and returns the other two. The competitor then has thirty minutes to prepare a speech on the topic. After thirty minutes they deliver it before a judge. These speeches are typically five to seven minutes long, but, with a grace period of thirty seconds, extend no longer than seven minutes and thirty seconds.

The judge will hear between five and seven speeches in a typical round of competition. After all speakers have finished, the judge will rank them from best to worst, and assign them each a quality score (called Quality Points, or QP). NFL points start from 6 to the first place in the round and decrease by one point for every next place. All those who place past 6th receive one point.

Single-day tournaments usually feature three rounds of competition and a finals round. Longer tournaments typically feature three or more preliminary rounds, and a variable number of elimination rounds (although few weekend tournaments have more than two levels of elimination).

At the national tournament there are 6 mandatory rounds of competition, after which the top twenty percent will advance to the next round of competition (also known as 'breaking').

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