Time Management for Impromptu
Although there is very little prep work outside of tournaments and very little you can/need to study up on, there may be nothing more stressful than the ten minutes you have during an impromptu round. When you first see your three topics, your mind starts to race and you start to contemplate whether or not you have a chance to succeed with each given topic. Once you choose your topic, it is then when you must decide how you will use your time. You are given very little prep time so that is pivotal as well and in some cases, can determine the outcome of the entire round.
When prepping for impromptu, it is important to keep a simple structure. Before you even see your topics, go into each round with the same concept. You will spend one minute on the introduction, 3 minutes on the body(1 for each point) and one minutes on the conclusion. This is the time you should spend speaking on each area. But what about the 5 minute prep time?
This is where competitors can make crucial mistakes. The first mistake to avoid in impromptu is trying to visualize your entire speech from start to finish during prep. Put simply: you just don't have time for this. You need to spend one minute coming up with an intro and conclusion that can tie together. When you do that, you need to formulate a thesis that will be the backbone for your three points. Lastly, finalize your three points. Another mistake competitors make at this point is to come up with ideas for their three points. You have to do that during the round. You don't have the time to come up with specific examples. Consider the route you want to take and think on your feet. By always thinking ahead and talking slowly, you will be able to avoid stuttering and will look polished. The person who looks polished will always win the round of impromptu. Why? because very few people end up doing this.