Northrise Toastmasters Club 1988/112

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Brief Guide to Impromptu Fun Debating

For a downloadable PDF copy of this page rightclick here & choose "Save Target As"


To develop the impromptu speaking skills of a group of member participants by providing a structured but informal team speaking contest at a club meeting.


Two teams of three members are selected to compete.. One member of each team is appointed leader.

A Chairman is appointed to run the debate and supply the debate topic, the moot. A Judge is recruited also to <a> select a winning team (an audience poll can be used to assist with this) and <b> give brief feed back to contestants.

If need be, the Chair and Judge can be the same person.

The environment is usually humorous and during the first three presentations from each side, interjections are actively encouraged. Interjections (at the Chair’s discretion) are an essential ingredient of public impromptu speaking.


The Chairman runs through the rules, reads the moot, the names of team members, the leader of each team and tosses for which team is for and which is against the moot.

Teams retire for 5 minutes to decide tactics (often done during refreshment break before the contest proper commences)

Chairman calls meeting to order and the battle commences.

Teams speak in alternate order, the leader for the team in favour of the moot commencing. Interjections from the opposition and audience under the control of the Chairman encouraged.

After the 3 members from each team have presented, the leader of the negative team is permitted a reply followed by a reply from the leader of the affirmative team. No new material or interjections are permitted during replies. Chairman needs to ensure the correct speaking sequence is adhered to and interjections are not out of hand, especially in the Reply segments where interjections are not permitted.


Timing is based on 36 minutes being available. (This is the equivalent time required for 3, 7 min speeches and 3, 3 min evaluations in the normal club meeting format, so no extra time should be needed).

• Chairman introduces
• Teams prepare

8 min

• 3 Affirmative Speeches
• 3 Negative Speeches

20 min

• Negative Leader’s Reply
• Affirmative Leader’s Reply

3 min

• Judge’s Result and Feedback

5 min

Each team member has 3 minutes in which to present.
Leaders’ replies are of only 1 minute duration





Chair Intro

2 min

1, 1½ & 3 min

Team Prep

5 min

3, 4, & 5 min


3 min

2, 2½ & 3 min


1 min

20, 35 & 60 sec

Chair, Result & Feedback

5 min

3, 4, & 5 min


These are not 6 individual speeches but two team (concerted) efforts.

Humour input from speakers and audience is not encouraged – it is compulsory!


Time Allocation





• Define (redefine) moot
• Introduce Team & their individual roles

• Major Introductory Arguments (2 or 3 max)
• Summarise




• Re-emphasise Leader’s points and develop major points further
• Rebut previous opponent’s points

• Summarise


50% min

50% max

• Rebut previous opponent’s points

• Final Arguments
• Summarise



• Forceful summary of own team’s case and rebuttals
• Convincing conclusion
• No new material

All the normal rules of public speaking apply.

You will need all the usual skills including;

• a beginning middle and end

• vocal variety, volume, pitch and pace

• eye contact

• body language and gestures

- Impromptu Debate Judging Guide - refer PDF version of this page.