Event Descriptions

Speech Events

Oratory

Original Oratory is a 10 minute speech written by the student with the intent to inform or persuade the audience on a topic of significance. Oratory gives students the unique opportunity to showcase their voice and passion for their topic. An Oratory is not simply an essay about the topic—it is a well researched and organized presentation with evidence, logic, emotional appeals, and sometimes humor to convey a message.

Informative Speaking

Informative is a 10 minute speech written by the student with the intent to inform the audience on a topic of significance. Students in informative may use a visual aid. Informative gives students the unique opportunity to showcase their personality while educating the audience. Topics are varied and interesting. Whether it be a new technological advance the audience is unaware of or a new take on a concept that everyone is familiar with, Informative is the students opportunity to teach the audience.

Extemporaneous Speaking

Extemporaneous speaking is a speech on current events where students are given 30 minutes to prepare for a 7 minute memorized speech. A student’s understanding of important political, economic, and cultural issues, either domestic or foreign, is assessed along with critical thinking and analytical skills. 

Poetry Interpretation

Students may choose to perform for 7 minutes in traditional Poetry, which often has a formal meter or rhyme scheme, or nontraditional Poetry, which often has a rhythmic flow but lacks formal rhyme or meter. Often Poetry is very creative in terms of vocabulary and composition. While Poetry may tell a story or develop a character, more often Poetry’s focus on language and form are designed to elicit critical thought, reflection, or emotion.

Prose Interpretation

Prose combines multiple elements of oral interpretation of literature in a 7 minute speech. Prose corresponds to usual patterns of speech — that which you would find most every day in a particular space and time (in contrast to poetic form and language). While many categories have specific interpretation focal points, Prose Interpretation is very wide open, and choices of material may vary from region to region or even tournament to tournament.

Impromptu Speaking

Impromptu is a public speaking event where students have seven minutes to select a topic, brainstorm their ideas, outline and deliver a speech. The speech is given without notes and uses an introduction, body, and conclusion. The speech can be light-hearted or serious. It can be based upon prompts that range from nursery rhymes, current events, celebrities, organizations, and more.

Debate Events

Congressional Debate

Congressional Debate is like a simulation of the real United States legislature. A group of 10-25 students, called a Chamber, will compete in a legislative session. A series of bills and resolutions will be proposed by students from various schools. Following each speech, competitors will be able to pose questions of the speaker. Once debate is exhausted on a particular item, the chamber will vote either to pass or fail the legislation, and debate moves on to the next item.

Public Forum Debate

As a team event, students who compete in Public Forum need to be able to work well with a partner.  PF looks at current event topics. Students who do Public Forum must be prepared to debate in front of judges without any formal debate training. Being able to persuade a range of judges is a central component to this event. Additionally, PF is focused upon debating varying resolutions that change frequently, which exposes students to a variety of topics during a singular competitive season.

Lincoln Douglas Debate

Lincoln-Douglas Debate typically appeals to individuals who like to debate, but prefer a one-on-one format as opposed to a team or group setting. Many people refer to LD Debate as a “values” debate, as questions of morality and justice are commonly examined. Students prepare cases and then engage in an exchange of cross-examinations and rebuttals in an attempt to convince a judge that they are the better debater in the round.