Extemporaneous Speaking


The National FFA Extemporaneous Public Speaking Leadership Development Event is designed to develop the ability of all FFA members to express themselves on a given subject without having prepared or rehearsed its content in advance. This event gives FFA members an opportunity to formulate their remarks for presentation in a very limited amount of time. The event will be held in connection with the National FFA Convention & Expo.

Nationals Event Rules:

  • It is highly recommended that participants wear FFA Official Dress for this event.
  •  Copies of the rules and score sheet will be supplied to participants in advance of the national event.
  • Three to eight competent and impartial persons will be selected to judge the event. At least one judge should have an agricultural background. Each state with a speaker shall provide a judge for preliminary rounds of the national event. Any advisor who has a student competing in a speaking event may not serve as a judge for that respective speaking event.
  • Any participant in possession of any electronic device, not provided by the event committee, in the preparation room is subject to disqualification.

Event Format:

Any member of FFA in good standing regularly enrolled in agriculture education is eligible. Members who have previously competed in the regional event are ineligible. An individual may compete in only one of the speaking contests above the state level (either extemporaneous or prepared) in a given year.

Chapters will conduct an extemporaneous public speaking event with the local winners competing at the district level. The first place district winner will compete in an area contest at state FFA conference. The eligible contestants will draw to make up the contest participation; four in one group and five in another. The first and second place winners of each group will advance to the state contest. The candidate’s ability to effectively answer appropriate questions posed by the judges of the contest is considered in selecting a state winner. At the chapter, district, area and state levels the National Career Development Events Bulletin will be followed.

Topics will be prepared by the Department on Agriculture and Technology Education classes. Topics shall be placed in one container. The contestants will draw three tops. After selecting the topic they desire to speak on, all three topics are returned to the original container prior to the next drawing. Twelve topics shall be prepared by the event superintendent and will include three each from the following categories:

  • Agriscience and technology
  • Agrimarketing and international agricultural relations
  • Food and fiber systems
  • Urban agriculture

Computer use will be incorporated starting in 2018.


Ties will be broken based on the greatest number of low ranks. The participants’ low ranks will be counted, and the participant with the greatest number of low ranks will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists, then the event superintendent will rank the participants’ responses to questions. The participant with the greatest number of low ranks from the response to questions will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists, then the participants’ raw scores will be totaled. The participant with the greatest total of raw points will be declared the winner.


The state winner will receive an appropriate plaque and $100 from the National FFA foundation. A traveling plaque will go to the winning extemporaneous public speaker and his/her chapter to retain for one year. He/she will also receive $100 for travel expenses to the regional speaking contest held at the National FFA Convention. Final 4 at state will be recognized on stage with a plaque and a pin.

Scoring Rubric:

2017 Extemporaneous Speaking Rubric

Supplemental Materials:

Extemporaneous Speaking Handbook

2016 Extemporaneous Public Speaking Finals