Speech Events

There are a total of  11 speech events that are divided into three categories: Prepared speeches, Extemporaneous speaking, and Interpretations. Students typically use the same speech all year with the exception of extemporaneous speeches.


Prepared Speech Events: The following are to be written and memorized and are between 8-10 minutes long.

Original Oratory (OO)

It is on any chosen topic and is persuasive. Avoid controversial or overdone subjects, and find interesting approaches to your topic. This speech is a mix between narratives that provide illustrations or light-hearted relief, and factual information from reliable sources. Examples of OO topics are "The Vertically Challenged," "Fantasy Literature," "Sleep Deprivation."

Original Advocacy (OA)

This speech informs the audience of a particular social problem and calls for legislative action to solve this problem. It is more factual as it needs to prove the relevance and significance of the problem and advocates what should be done and how the proposed solution will benefit society. Imagine that you are delivering this speech to a governing board. Again, avoid topics that are too controversial or overdone. Near the end of your speech you will need an "I advocate" statement.

Expository (EXPOS)

This is an  informative speech on topics more interesting and tangible. It informs the audience and is almost conversational in nature. It is like giving a presentation about a topic to your coworkers during a business meeting. Participants will need to make professional and interesting posters to display on an easel throughout the duration of the speech. This is the only speech in which props are allowed. Examples of topics are Body Language, The Toilet, Subliminal Messages.

Original Prose and Poetry (OPP)

This is a speech that the author writes to tell as story. It can be in the form of a poem, play or prose. Better OPPs have several characters and a plot that keeps the audience engaged. This requires more acting and can be either serious or humorous in nature.


Extemporaneous Events: The following are unwritten and spur-of-the-moment.

Impromptu (IMP)

Students are given three topics and are allowed to pick only one. They are then given two minutes to prepare a five minute speech. Impromtus are more relaxed in nature and students are judged on their ability to speak for five minutes in an organized fashion, combining elements of wit and concrete information that is new and different.

Extemporaneous (NX or FX)

These two events involve the discussion of current events, either on National (U.S) topics or Foreign (International) topics. At most tournaments students can decide which category to enter in; however, some tournaments are combined national and international. Again, students pick three topics and choose one. They then have 30 minutes of prep time to consult magazines and organize an outline, and have 7 minutes to speak. Topics are political in nature and students will have to cite several sources in their speech.  


Interpretation: The following are only memorized and are between 8-10 minutes in length. All pieces must be published works and delivery of the speech relies heavily on acting and several characterizations. No costumes or props are allowed.

Dramatic Interpretation (DI)

This event requires students to find an emotional piece of published literature. Soliloquies and monologues tend to be poor choices; students need to show off their skills in having 2 or more characters. 

Humorous Interpretation (HI)

Similar to a DI, the only difference in this event is that the piece must be humorous. Participants need to be unafraid of making fools out of themselves!


Duo Interpretation (DUO)

Use any dramatic or humorous piece of literature that is written for 2 people. Each person may only play one character, but both are required to perform. Participants cannot make any physical contact during the speech but should have actions that coincide.

Thematic Interpretation (TI)

A selection of three or more published readings related to one theme. They may be from the same or different author(s). The theme may be humorous, dramatic, or poetic and the three pieces usually alternate between serious and humorous or vice versa. Students interpret any three pieces with one theme or motif and write their own transitions. The best have diversity and variety and find a theme that is not common. The pieces are put into a thin black binder and while the speech is memorized, students deliver the selections with the binder open and held by one hand.

Oratorical Interpretation (OI)

This must be from a speech that has been published AND delivered originally by a real person. It should be delivered to recreate the meaning that the original person intended. The total effect should carry the listener away to the time and place of the speech. 


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