Speech Category Descriptions Great Speeches



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Speech Category Descriptions

Great Speeches: The speaker delivers a speech, historical or contemporary, given before an audience by a person of prominence. A minimum of 25% of the presentation must be the contestant’s own material. A contestant must justify the selection of the speech and include information about the speaker, subject, original audience, and occasion. Statements, analysis, and exposition may be interspersed throughout. An anthology of speeches by one speaker may also be used. Research is expected. A script is optional. 10 minutes.
Discussion: The contestant participates in small group problem solving. The broad topic is known ahead of time but specific task in each round is not known ahead of time. The student is judged on his/her contributions to the group effort, knowledge of the topic, and skill in relating to the group. Research required. Time: no more than 60 minutes.
Informative: The contestant presents his/her own composition of which no more than 10% shall be direct quotation. This should be an original, factual speech on a subject of general interest. The purpose should be to inform. Quality of thought, composition/organization and delivery should be considered by judges. Research is required. A script is optional. The use of visual aids is optional. 10 minutes.

Extemporaneous Reading: The contestant will read excerpts, prose or poetry, from a MSHSL selected source. The student will draw a selection 30 minutes before reading, allowing for preparation. Judging is based on the student’s ability to introduce the excerpt with appropriate remarks and to read with effective expression. Use of book is required. 7 minutes. STUDENTS WILL DRAW IN 8 MINUTE INTERVALS.

Storytelling: The contestant will recreate a familiar story from a MSHSL selected source. The contestant will draw a story 30 minutes before speaking, allowing for preparation. The speaker is welcome to be creative in the telling must maintain the author’s mood, format, and general plot. Introduction is required. No script is allowed. 7 minutes. STUDENTS WILL DRAW IN 8 MINUTE INTERVALS.
Creative Expression: The contestant writes his/her own material. It may include information from other sources but 80% must be original. The mood may be serious or humorous or both. No costumes, props, or music allowed. A script is optional. Judge will consider creative imagination, delivery and cleverness of the content. Intro required. 10 min.
Prose: Consists of published selection of prose, most often from a short story or novel. Judging is based on interpreting meaning through vocal and bodily expression. Intro required. Script optional. 10 minutes.
Drama: Consists of a published selection taken from a play (although, for this tournament prose or poetry is allowed). An introduction is required. The student is judged on ability to interpret meaning through vocal and bodily expression. Script is optional. 10 minutes.
Duo: Features two speakers interpreting together a single, published piece of literature. The content may be serious, humorous, or both. Costumes, props are not to be used. Script is optional. Intro is required. Students may not look at each other or touch except during the intro. Judging based on ability to interpret meaning through vocal and bodily expression. 10 minutes.

Poetry: Consists of a single published poem or collection of poems. Judging is based on ability to interpret meaning through vocal and bodily expression. Intro is required. Script is optional. 10 minutes.

Humorous: Consists of published literature that is humorous. It should amuse, create laughter. An introduction is required. Script is optional. 10 minutes.
Original Oratory: The contestant delivers a persuasive speech of his or her own writing. Research is required. Judges consider thought, composition, and delivery. The use of a script is optional. 10 minutes.
Extemporaneous Speaking: The contestant’s speech shall not be memorized and will be on timely topics dealing with social, economic, and/or political issues. The speaker can choose domestic area questions or international. The student will draw a question 30 minutes before speaking to allow for preparation. The student will be judged on adherence to the question, well-chosen information, organization of material, and delivery. A note card is permitted under MSHSL rules. Research and knowledge of news is expected. 7 minutes. STUDENTS WILL DRAW IN 8 MINUTE INTEVALS. Judges are encouraged to provide time signals.

POI: National Speech and Debate Association Rules

Program Oral Interpretation Event Description:

• POI is a program of oral interpretation of thematically-linked selections chosen from two or three genres: prose, poetry, drama (plays).

• A primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme or argument through the use of narrative, story, language, and/or characterization.

• Competitors are encouraged to devote approximately equal times to each of the genres used in the program. At least two pieces of literature that represent at least two separate genres must be used.

The use of a manuscript is required.

• Time Limit: 10 minutes max with a 30-second grace period.

• Sources must meet all NSDA Interp rules for publication.

Program Oral Interpretation Judging Criteria:

• An introduction should set the stage, enhancing the interpretation of the literature to the audience, providing information and analysis to the chosen theme.

• All selections must be verbally identified by title and author. However, where, when, and how these are accomplished are the speaker’s decisions.

• The intact manuscript may be used by the contestant as a prop so long as it remains in the contestant’s control at all times.

• No costumes or props other than the manuscript are permitted.

• Adaptations may be used only for the purpose of transition.

• This is a contest in oral interpretation. The contestant should be evaluated on poise, quality, and use of voice, inflection, pronunciation, and the ability to interpret characters consistently.

• The contestant should also be evaluated on how effective their argument/theme is projected in the total program.

• In developing a creative, thematic program, attention should be given to the design and organization of a cohesive and carefully conceived whole by linking authors and ideas inherent in the literature.

• There is an expectation to use at least two pieces of literature each presenting a different genre with approximately equal times devoted to each genre. This distinction pertains to these three genres as a whole, not types of literature within a genre, such as fiction/nonfiction.


• The contestant must address the script; however, introduction and transitional material may be memorized.




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