Speakers compete by making 4 short radio broadcasts delivered via a microphone to a panel of hidden judges. Students announce a news flash, commercial, editorial and do an “on the spot” broadcast. Contestants are judged based on vocal quality, editorial sense and quick thinking.
Contestants are given a topic and 30 seconds to come up with a thoughtful speech on the subject. Speeches are limited to 5 minutes and judged on thinking under pressure while maintaining continuity, poise, vocal quality and gestures.
Speakers act out a selection from a play, book or other published work with an emphasis on recreating the individual characters from the selection. Speeches are memorized and last from five to ten minutes. Judging favors the contestant’s body, vocal and facial control—snapping quickly and accurately between characters and maintaining the flow of the piece.
Contestants participate in a round-table discussion on a topic selected from a set of key knowledge areas identified at the beginning of the speech season. Each session can last up to an hour, but no more, and students are judged based on their ability to work as a team, make relevant points, mold the conversation and presentation of ideas.
Speakers act out a selection from a play, book or other published work with an emphasis on recreating the individual characters from the selection. Speeches are memorized and last from five to ten minutes. Contestants use vocal, body and facial control to evoke powerful characters and situations.
Contestants read a five to ten minute selection from a short story or play. The emphasis is on narration, not dialog. Judging is primarily influenced by how the piece is interpreted and literary quality.
Students write and perform an original piece on all most any topic. The emphasis is on intelligently and thoughtfully discussing a topic as well as the quality of the delivery. Performances are limited to five to ten minutes and are judged based on the quality of the writing as well as vocal qualities, poise, gestures, etc.
Students are given 30 minutes to prepare a speech of up to seven minutes in length on currents events. For US Extemp, topics pertain to the United States while International Extemp topics relate to global issues. Judging is based on strict adherence to the question being asked, references and supporting information used, organization of the speech and quality of the delivery.
Two contestants act out either a scripted (read) or memorized selection. Much like humorous or dramatic interpretation, emphasis is on recreating scenes and dialogue that bring out the characters and showcase the student’s ability to work as a team. Judging is based on individual performances and the combined effect while taking away points for speaking directly to each other or playing off of each other.
Students read at least two poems to form a program for a total of five to ten minutes. The emphasis is on the quality of the selection as well as the interpretation of the work(s) by the speaker. Judging is based on the speaker’s vocal, body and facial control.
Contestants prepare and deliver their own original work which can be scripted or unscripted, humorous or dramatic, single or with a partner. This event encourages students to be creative writers as well as show off their speaking skills. Pieces are five to ten minutes in length and are judged on both the quality of the piece as well as the speaking skills of the players.
Congressional Debate (House and Senate)
Students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate in simulation of the U.S. legislative process. Debaters alternate delivering speeches for and against a given topic in a group setting. One student is elected to serve as a presiding officer to ensure the debate runs smoothly. Students are judged on their research, delivery skills, and knowledge and use of parliamentary procedure.
World School Debate (WSD)
WSD format consists of 3-5 speakers on a side. They debate prepared and impromptu topics. This event encourages debaters to focus on specific issues rather than debate theory or procedural arguments.
Programmed Oral Interpretation (POI)
POI is a program or oral interpretation of thematically-linked selections chosen from 2 or 3 genres: prose, poetry, drama. This is a scripted event.
An informative speech is an original speech designed to explain, define, describe, or illustrate a particular subject. The use of audio/visual aids is optional. The speeches are memorized.