Part 4 of How to do an Impromptu Card: 6 Strategies Part 2: Strategies 4-6

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6 Strategies

Part 2

Strategies 4-6

Strategy Number 4: Generics.

Get generic hooks and or stories you can use and apply to a variety of topics. You can also do this with generic quotes… (For example, category two, often quotes about the reliability of scripture can be widely cross applied.) Also you can pre-outline most cards. Especially for definition cards… AG, Topic, Outline, Points 1, 2, 3, significance re-outline, tie back, and closing statement. That does have some flexibility, but as each one does their cards they will develop their own style. Have blank cards with that outline written on it already so you don’t have to write or think about what comes next during a round.

Strategy Number 5: Practice cards you don’t have.

It’s silly not to. If you only practice cards you have, then when you get to a tourney and draw cards you don’t have, then you’ll find yourself fully unprepared to defend that topic. Also consider that in real life you won’t have time to go home and write a card first, before answering somebody. Get used to defending your faith on your feet, it will be healthy for you.

Strategy Number 6: Anchor Cards.

Anchor Cards are simply a couple key cards within each category that can be easily used to form another speech when you don't have something prepared for it. For example, category 3 is about the nature, purpose, and destiny of man. A card within that category which applies to many others is the Meaning and Significance of the Sin Nature. Using what I've already prepared in that card (points, quotes, verses, stories, or analogies), I can develop within in my prep time a speech on another topic such as What is meant by the Fall of man?

For this technique to work best, it is helpful to become very familiar with your anchor cards. For instance, memorize the verses and quotes and practice pulling the analogies different ways. Knowing the anchor cards in and out will help you develop your speech quickly in prep time, as well as when you are talking with someone who doesn't know the Lord. The points and sources you have prepared will come easily to mind and help you answer any question related to that topic.

Thus concludes the series on how to do and prepare for impromptu cards. (Written with the assistance of Leslie Reavely. :)


Part 3 of How to do an Impromptu Card: 6 Strategies Part 1: Strategies 1-3

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6 Strategies

Part 1 

Strategies 1-3

Strategy Number 1: Scripture Cards: One of the criterions the judges will use is how much scripture and outside sources you have and use in a card. This is often a problem when you draw topics you don't have, for this try these strategies out... First, read your Bible several times a year (you're not going to regret in Heaven or in witnessing situations having studied God's word). Diligently study and know your Bible well. Second, do topical studies of the Bible on the specific areas of the categories, ie Existence and Nature of God, Scripture… Third, use those times of study, whether topical or just in your normal reading, to take notes and write on cards verses that can be used in those areas of study. So that even if you don’t have a card for the subject you can still use the verses you have to back up your understanding of the concept. So what you will have in the end is cards full of scriptures broken down into the categories and into concepts/cards groups beneath that. (Card groups are topics that are similar concepts repeated from the definition into a GQ or SA.) You can also do this with quotes…

Strategy Number 2 is to look for those card groups; sometime a GQ or SA will mimic a definition like three topics based around the incarnation of Jesus. So you study the incarnation and often you can borrow quotes and scriptures from a different card, be creative, but don’t stretch it too far, judges can tell when that happens, make it reasonable.

Strategy Number 3: Go, grab a dictionary and find a definition for every definition card. There is no excuse for not spending that half hour to hour putting those onto cards. That way you will always know what something is, and at least have one source on any and all definition cards. Which can be cross applied to almost if not every other topic there is. It's just common sense, do it now.

Next... Part 4 of How to do an Impromptu Card, the final of the 6 strategies... (Part 4 will end the series.)


Part 2... 3 Min Impromptu Lesson

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     After you've chosen your topic, I recommend that you treat it like an average Impromptu. Now for my three minute impromptu lesson. (Each person does Impromptu’s differently, bear with my abbreviated method.)

     First figure the topic out, then establish your thesis. Figure out what your position on the topic is, establish it, then build your points around it. “God’s sovereignty is critically essential to God’s nature and our faith.” (Example of one for sovereignty.)


When beginning to build your points break the topic down to it categories...









            Great people from History

            Personal Story

            Bible Story



Sketch out the categories you feel comfortable drawing from, (say art, history, and literature...) then find examples from each of your chosen categories (e.g. God was sovereign over George Washington's life when he was younger...)  and start gathering them around your thesis. Then I arrange them in building order from basic premises, to the conclusion which was stated in your thesis. Practice this and over time you’ll get better.


            Okay, now to transform that to apologetics, use the same goal of forming a thesis. For the definition cards, write out the definition and then figure out why it is significant, then build your points to prove it’s significance. (You can use similar categories... just add in scriptures, examples from sermons, or books you've read, Bible stories...) Then go about building the point verses and examples to build you definition.


For General Question’s answer the question, and then figure out why your answer is important. e.g. Cat 1 GQ 4: “How can God be both merciful and just?” Figure out the answer then tell me why that is important to my faith, a easy way to figure that out is to ponder why would somebody ask that question. Again using the examples and categories adjusted to apologetics can help you dig up examples and resources.


For Statement Analysis’ Follow the instructions, figure out what the quote is saying, then break it down, using four point refutation: 1) what he said, 2) why he’s wrong, 3) what I say, 4) why I’m right. The first two points analyze, the last two refute, it fits perfectly with the format of the statement analysis topics. This one is slightly harder to use the examples on, but the format of thesis, points still flows. Not only that, but analogies are still an awesome way to argue, so brainstorming for examples or analogies can help strengthen your arguments and give the speech a common theme based off of that. 

...Part 3 Will be the first 3 of 6 strategies you can use to prepare ahead of time.


The Dreaded Impromptu Cards...

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            It is inevitable that during sometime in your apologetic career you will have some impromptu round in which you will draw three topics and not a have a single card for any of them. If not it will happen in real life. Sometime when witnessing, or talking at church, or even when a little sibling, or later in life as a parent, people asks questions to which we won’t have an essay to hand them our answer. This discourse below is written to you as a student for how to prepare for a round type situation when you don’t have a card… here is part one…


The Dreaded Drawing of Topics

            When you draw three topics always go for what is familiar, and more importantly what you can connect with. Usually that means the subject you have done a card on being that you’ve researched that one more then any other topic. For example, for me this is the concepts of missions, the Cross of Christ, and other specific topics are very close to my heart. In terms of apologetic cards, I love the concept of the Sovereignty of God, or the Omni’s. (Omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence…) So sharing on these is quite easy for me. As such I speak with more passion and logic on them. This is what I mean by, pick a topic you can connect with. In the situation of not having any of the three cards, chose the one you can connect with most. IE, canon of scripture vs. repentance or sin nature. 

Part 2 on the way.... (3 minute impromptu lesson...)


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