Extemporaneous Speaking Key to Analysis

Extemporaneous Speaking is a hard event.  Practice entails not only scheduled practice runs but also regular updating of files for the box, keeping current with National and World affairs from research, improvements to public speaking, enhancing outlining/speech writing skills, and analysis work.  It is an event that, when done properly, will push you due to the sheer amount of skills you need.  But all of these abilities can be taught and honed.  However, it is with analysis where growth can be slow.  It takes an eye for knowing what details and facts to pull in order to delve deeper into the issue and spark revelations.  Yet, if you keep these four tips in mind, your analysis may improve quicker than anticipated:

  1. Thesis Statement. Behind any good analysis is an equally good thesis statement.  A thesis statement is the main idea of a paper/speech.  It is the author's opinion or stance on an issue.  It tells what the Extemporaneous piece will be about or what the speaker is going to prove.  Thesis statements need to be clear and strong.  If you know exactly what your speech is about, finding the evidence and rational as to why it supports your thesis comes easier.
  2. Structure. Give your Extemporaneous speech form with "blanks" to fill.  I.E. have an outline in mind.  Many Extempers use the 3x2 formula.  This means that a speech will have three main points and for each main point two sub-points of support for their main.  After the two sub-points have been made an impact statement (the analysis that details the implications/impact of this point) follows.  Anyway, having an outline with spaces to fill for structure keeps you on task and ensures you provide enough support.  Although cold facts will not win a round, having enough does set you up to deliver the impact, rather the ANALYSIS, you need to make a point.  Not having thorough analysis is bad, but have analysis and a response without any support/evidence is just as bad.  More on the 3x2 technique can be found here.    
  3. Prove your point. Thinking about a thesis statement as a point to prove makes analysis easier to understand.  You would not go to your parents and ask to borrow the car without having reasons and explanations.  No, you would come up with a few reasons like why you need the car (to get to the movies), how it benefits them (they will not have to drive you around), why is makes sense (that you have a license that is not being used), and some reveling fact about why it is vastly important to you (you feel like you mooch off your friends who always drive you--it's not fair to them having to spend money on gas all the time, they waste time picking you up, and they are beginning to stop asking you to go places because of the inconvenience...besides it is embarrassing to be 17 and not fit in with the social norm of driving freedom --> outsider feeling).  See how a simple issue goes deeper than just you wanting to drive because you have a license and it helps your parents?  Analysis is all about digging deeper and thinking about the real, underlying reason behind things; though, wanting to drive is a base example!  You need to prove your thesis to the audience by explaining why your main/sub-points have relevance.  Because of this, some Extemporaneous speeches could use the 3x2 structure while others can suffice with a 2x2 one.  As long as you support your cause you are golden.
  4. Ask why. Part of what makes or breaks analysis is the speaker's ability to ask why.  ALWAYS ASK WHY.  Why does that sub-point support the main point and thesis?  Why did that person do or say what they did?  Why did that event take place?  Why did people follow an individual or idea?  The more you ask why, the more in depth your response will grow.  Example: why does any country go to war? For political/economic gain and security. Why is that important?  To prove our country is better, to prevent future attacks, to help the people.  Why prove our dominance?  For reputation; to be the country no one wants to mess with so we can pursue other endeavors elsewhere to further advancement WHILE enlisting the help of others who normally would have done nothing.  Why would they help us now?  Fear.  Profit from our strength.  As you can see, this chain of childlike whys expands a generic answer into a broad web of rational that goes beyond the initial question into the substance beneath.

These four tips can be the key to improving your analytical skills.  Ultimately, the only true way to get better is through practice.  Athletes become giants in their sport with the building of their knowledge and strength.  Extemporaneous speakers, actually all Forensicators, can advance with the development of their brain.  Use it, challenge it, and in time you will be an analytical master.