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Extemporaneous Essay Sample

  • Chalk/whiteboard, chart paper, or bulletin board display
  • Research materials and tools, such as a set of encyclopedias, nonfiction books, magazines, newspapers, and computers with internet access
  • Index cards
  • Rubric for Speeches printable
  • Steps to the Perfect Speech Topic printable (from Oral Presentations Made Easy! by Paul B. Janeczko)
  • Writing paper
  • Idea Web printable
  • Optional: Video or audio recording equipment
  1. Copy the Steps to the Perfect Speech Topic printable for each student.
  2. Write the six steps on the board, a sheet of chart paper, or a bulletin board display:
    1. Choosing a topic
    2. Researching
    3. Writing
    4. Practicing
    5. Delivering
    6. Processing
  3. Optional: Make copies of the Idea Web printable if you think students will want to use them as they choose a topic.
  4. Optional: If desired, prepare any AV equipment for the Practicing portion when students record themselves while rehearsing their speech.

Part I

Step 1: Begin the lesson by distributing a randomly chosen volume from the classroom set of encyclopedias and/or another type of research material to each student. Instruct them to use the resource to find an interesting topic. Tell them they have 15 minutes to gather as much information on the subject as they can and write the most important points on index cards.

Step 2: Upon completion, invite several volunteers to deliver a basic three-minute talk on their chosen topic.

Step 3: Process the activity by asking students what differences they noticed between these types of speeches and those from Lesson One: Impromptu Speeches. Compare an impromptu speech with an extemporaneous speech. Share with the students that an extemporaneous speech is researched and rehearsed ahead of time. Note cards are permitted. The topics are likely to be assigned and the speech is usually intended to do one of four things: to inform, to persuade, to entertain, or to share on special occasions. The extemporaneous speech generally ranges between three and ten minutes.

Step 4: Share with students that they will be writing and delivering an extemporaneous speech over the next few days. Introduce the six steps you posted in the classroom and briefly discuss the expectations.

Part II

You may want to spend at least one day on each of the six steps of writing an extemporaneous speech as you teach this lesson.

Choosing a Topic

Step 1: Distribute the Steps to the Perfect Speech Topic printable to each student.

Step 2: Remind students of the six steps. Tell them that they will choose a topic today by brainstorming every idea they can think of, using specific criteria to narrow down the ideas, and creating an idea web to decide on "the perfect topic."

Step 3: Instruct students to read through the handout and complete the process. Provide the Idea Web printable to students who need help narrowing down their topic.

Step 4: You should approve each student's topic to ensure it follows the criteria.


Step 5: Remind students that they will need to disclose the sources that they used during their research in the body of their speech, preferably one from a traditional print source such as an encyclopedia, magazine, or nonfiction book, one from web source, and one from a non-traditional source, such as a personal interview, a fiction title, or song lyrics. Therefore, they need to conduct a good amount of research.

Step 6: Distribute more index cards and tell students to write the title and other important data, such as the author, publisher, and date of publication, of each source they use on the index cards. Remind them to share this information in the body of their speech.

Step 7: Allow ample time for students to complete the research phase.


Step 8: Once students have gathered all research and completed their index cards, they can begin writing the body of their speech. Share with them that the speech structure is similar to that of the essays that they have written in class and consists of three parts:

  1. Introduction: you tell them what you are going to tell them
  2. Body: tell them
  3. Closing: tell them what you have told them

Step 9: Instruct students to first concentrate on the body of their speech. Have them decide on three main points to make during the speech using the information they gathered during the research phase. Have them create an outline with supporting details for each main point.

Step 10: Have students write out the speech using the outlines.

Step 11: Help students transfer the information in their written speech to bulleted points on index cards. Remind them that they will not be reading their speech, but using the index cards to stay on track. Allow ample time for students to complete the body of their speech.

Step 12: When students are finished with the body of their speeches, help them craft an engaging introduction and conclusion. Briefly discuss the need to "hook" the audience when delivering a speech. Share the five audience-grabbing techniques and instruct them to decide which they will use for their introduction:

  • Tell a story
  • Cite a statistic
  • Ask a question
  • Paint a picture
  • Share a quotation

Provide examples when necessary.

Step 13: Share that the conclusion is like the introduction but in reverse order. Tell students to begin with a recap of what they discussed in the speech and end with a memorable closing statement. Provide examples if necessary.


Step 14: Allow students to spend a class period rehearsing their speech. If desired, video or audio tape them so that they can critique themselves later. Encourage each student to practice out loud, practice making consistent eye contact with the audience while taking occasional glances at their note cards, and write any last minute notes of encouragement or final details on their note cards. Remind students that they will be graded according to the rubric standards, so they should review it at this time.


Step 15: Students are now ready to deliver their extemporaneous speeches. Instruct them to hand you their rubric prior to beginning. Tell the audience to refrain from talking or distracting the speaker and to make mental notes of each speech in order to provide feedback at the end.

Step 16: Upon completion of each speech, ask a few volunteers to share some positive feedback with the speaker.


Step 17: The day after students deliver their speeches, ask students to write a self-reflective assessment of their experience in this process. Encourage them to write freely about what worked, what needed improvement, and any other thoughts or or feelings they had during the process.

Step 18: Invite volunteers to share, but do not make it a requirement. Collect the assessment.

Work closely with struggling students throughout the process or pair them with helpful partners.

Address the common occurrence of stage fright. Have students or groups brainstorm strategies that can reduce anxiety.

Send a note home to parents, informing them of the "big day" when the speeches will be delivered in class. Encourage them to rehearse with their child.

  • Research and deliver a "quick" three-minute speech
  • Write an extemporaneous speech following the six-step process
  • Formally assess each speech according to the rubric.
  • Read each self-reflection to understand students' experiences.


Demonstrate Effect of Problem

(What’s the problem doing to the people involved? Useexamples and facts. Be descriptive, sincere, and forceful.)


Demonstrate Causes of Problem

(Sometimes there aren’t causes.)

Show how effects areproduced.


Demonstrate How Existence of Problem Affects the Listeners.

(Draw vivid descriptions of  bad conditions and relate them to the listener’s life.)

A.Present The Solution


Make clear statement of the best procedure and methods to be used.

(Make clear the cost,time, and number of people the solution will require. Illustrate how similar solutions have workedelsewhere.)

A.Visualize The Solution


Show how the solution will eliminate the causes; reduce or eliminate the symptoms; helppeople’ result in great advantages; reduce costs; increase efficiency. (

Show audience what’llhappen to them if the solution isn’t adopted.)

A.Appeal for Audience Action


Speak directly to audience and appeal to their motives of 

 —(fair play, desire to save, desire to be thought of as helpful, desire to be thought of as intelligent, pride in ownership, pride incommunity)

2.Ask them to help in the adoption and development of your proposed solution.


1.Challenge Audience to Do Something2.Provide Summary of Important Points3.Indicate Your Own Intention to Do Something


Present thesis.

(Either here or in Step 2)

5.Resolve attention getter.

Persuasive Organization



Nature of the Problem :A.Effects:

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