One of the best things you can do is have students sit down and write as much as they can about each of the speaking topics. When they run out of ideas, go over any mistakes in their writing and show them where they can add more information. Give them ideas to beef it up, such as using complex sentences. The more they look over their writing on each topic, the more they’ll remember they are able to talk about. This will help tremendously when they do their impromptu speaking. One thing that will become evident right away is how many of the topics overlap. For example, I can talk about my school day when sharing “Un poco de mí” or explaining my life in “La Caroliona del Sur” just like I would in “Mi día escolar.” Of course, I may start differently and add other things, but there can be a lot of overlap in the topics and this will help students fill their 2 minutes. It will also make 16 possible topics seem less overwhelming, so be sure to point this out.
Once the student has prepared a topic, set the timer for 2 minutes and see what they can do. Offer suggestions and constructive criticism, but stay positive! Once they have spoken on that topic, put it in a hat. After they prepare for and speak about each topic, into the hat it goes. Have them continue to practice and review old topics by pulling a topic out of the hat. Eventually the hat should have all 16 topics. Remember, the day of the competition, they will pull 3 topics and select only 1 to speak about for 2 minutes.