Category: Files

Five Sources You Should Consider Cutting

Extempers usually cut newspapers and magazines for their files.  However, there are some critical resources that could help you in a round or help you find the answers to some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.  Extemp Central has assembled a list of five sources that you should consider cutting for your file box.

Strategy: Five Ways to Improve the Organization of Your File Boxes

Since extemporaneous speaking is a limited preparation event, it is crucial that extempers be as organized as possible.  This is very crucial when it comes to filing.  Extemp files that are unorganized are not useful and greatly hamper the chances of an extemper to do well at a tournament.

To help novice and veteran extempers alike, Extemp Central presents five tips that can make your file boxes more organized and effective.

Extemp Central’s Twitter Lists Will Help You File Smarter

Extemp Central on Twitter

Extemp Central on Twitter

by Corey Alderdice

If you haven’t heard, Twitter is kind of a big deal.  With an estimated 18 million active users by the end of the 2009, it seems safe to say that the Tweet Machine is no passing fad.

Last week, Twitter began rolling out the wide release of its new Lists function.  The Twitter Blog describes the feature in short:

The idea is to allow people to curate lists of Twitter accounts. For example, you could create a list of the funniest Twitter accounts of all time, athletes, local businesses, friends, or any compilation that makes sense.

Lists are public by default (but can be made private) and the lists you’ve created are linked from your profile. Other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists. This means lists have the potential to be an important new discovery mechanism for great tweets and accounts.

Your friends at Extemp Central have encouraged you to both become our Fan on Facebook and follow our tweets.  The lists capability provides an even better reason to join us on Twitter: keeping up on news and cultivating your files.  Currently, Extemp Central is following nearly 70 magazines, websites, policy journals, think tanks and institutions to help you better understand the news of the world each day.  The lists are subdivided in specific areas to better address your needs:

@extemp/politics

@extemp/education

@extemp/entertainment

@extemp/policy-journals

@extemp/think-tanks

@extemp/science-and-tech

@extemp/sports

@extemp/international

@extemp/united-states

We really, really want your help in making this an outstanding utility for extempers.  Have a look at the sources Extemp Central is currently following.  From there, send us an email or leave a comment on this post on any additional websites, individuals, publications or organizations that would be useful to add to the list.  You are even welcome to suggest any additional lists that we should create or follow from other users.

If you are new to Twitter or just thinking about joining (which you should!), Mashable (@mashable) has an excellent online guide to using Twitter.

The Right Way to File

by Mark Royce

Many extempers become slaves to their tubs, rather than letting the files serve them.

The file boxes perennially transported by extemporaneous speakers to tournaments across the country perform a variety of functions.  The most important, obviously, is the assistance they provide to the competitor’s memory: facts, figures, dates, locations, and other very precise pieces of information are quickly accessible in an organized system, such that no precious prep time need be wasted in their retrieval.  Furthermore, most extempers either modify an inherited set of tubs or design their own, which teaches them to organize foreign and domestic issues in meaningful categories.  All the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, would be grouped together, as would intertwined economic issues back home.  I might also add in jest that traversing the country with such ponderous luggage as extemp tubs teaches patience and improves physical stamina, while providing a constant reminder of how technologically antiquated the NFL’s procedures are.  But there is another role which extemp files frequently play that they certainly should not, and the purpose of this article is to warn of the dangers of relating to the tubs in this manner.

Do not the files often assume a kind of idolatrous affection in the minds of those who maintain them?  Do not many extempers, usually of at least intermediate skill, lavish a sort of narcissistic attention on their tubs, taking care to highlight in a favorite color, to ensure that each folder contains a certain number of articles, or to resolve to file for a certain number of hours each day?  Granted, such habits may be the honest manifestations of the quest for excellence: order, method, clarity, and daily attention to the headlines are essential; and a committed extemper is by all means entitled to customize the portable library on which he perpetually relies.  But extempers, as a whole, devote too much time and attention to the files, striving to meet some self-imposed standard of aesthetic perfection as librarians rather than remaining focused on winning tournaments as public speakers.

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