Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking

Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking

Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking (also called United States Extemporaneous Speaking or National Extemporaneous Speaking, and variously contracted to Domestic Extemp, National Extemp, U.S. Extemp, DX, NX, or USX) is a style of competitive speaking sponsored by the National Forensic League, the Florida Forensic League, and the National Catholic Forensic League.


Competition in DX involves the selection, preparation, and presentation of a four and a half to seven minute speech on a topic relating to United States domestic and foreign policy, domestic commerce, politics, the economy, and the like.[1] The speech is to be delivered entirely from memory or with the aid of a small note card limited to fifty words. 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 references in magazine and newspaper cuttings, that are later cited during the speech to provide backing.[2] Extemp, as many call it, is unique because a different topic is spoken on in every round.

In most tournaments, DX and FX competitors are gathered into the extemp prep room, where they leave their files of newspaper, magazine cuttings for the duration of the tournament, and internet articles. 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. In some competitions, three predetermined topics are given to speaker on a single slip of paper. The competitor then has thirty minutes to prepare a speech on the topic. After thirty minutes they deliver it before a judge.[1]

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). In some regions, these are known as Speaker Points, and they range from a low of 80 to a high of 100.

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 local tournaments have more than two levels of elimination).