Official description from Massachusetts Forensic League (MFL) website:
The students will draw three topics of current interest from the material prepared by the tournament director. Usually topics are based on articles taken from recent issues of publications from major media outlets. The student must pick one of the three topics to prepare for a presentation. The students will have a 30 minute preparation period during which personal information files of books, magazines, and/or newspapers may be used to put together the presentation. After the preparation period, the student should deliver a speech to be evaluated for content and delivery. A single note-card with no more than 50 written words is permitted. If a note-card is to be used, the judge must review it prior to the presentation. Any note-card violation should be brought to the attention of the prep room coordinator prior to the speech; or, the student may choose to proceed without the use of the note-card. The topic slip must be presented to the judge in the round. No visual aids are allowed. Students in Extemporaneous Speaking are responsible for the accuracy of citations of evidence. Students must cite facts and analysis from source material accurately and in keeping with the author’s intent. Judges may request to see original copies of the sources cited, and bring discrepancies to the attention of the tournament director.
Time: 7 minute maximum (30 second grace); no minimum
As an Extemper, I'll say that it's helped me a lot for a lot of things, including a) College Applications b) Writing five-paragraph essays and c) improving public speaking skills.
Average onlooker: The fuck, I never want to do Extemp.
Where one must utilize a mastery of sources, vocab, and cleverness.
One who extemps is an extemper, and this person is usually a good essay writer, masterful in every way, and just plain awesome.
Oh, he does extemp.