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Descriptions of Events

Dramatic Duet Acting (DDA) - Two students perform an 8 minute memorized interpretation of a published dramatic work. A table and two chairs may be used as props in the performance.

Dramatic Interpretation (DI) - One student performs an 8 minute memorized interpretation of a published dramatic work. The script will often feature more than one character, all of which are portrayed by the performer, using different stances, body language, vocal tones, etc. for each.

Extemporaneous Speaking (ES) - Students are asked a current events-related question and have 45 minutes to compose an argumentative speech answering the question, using materials (magazines, newspapers, etc.) that they bring with them to the tournament for research. The speech should be around 6 minutes long and must use citations and direct quotes from the sources that the student utilized in their research.

Humorous Duet Acting (HDA) - Two students perform an 8 minute memorized interpretation of a published humorous work. A table and two chairs may be used as props in the performance.

Humorous Interpretation (HI) - One student performs an 8 minute memorized interpretation of a published humorous work. The script will often feature more than one character, all of which are portrayed by the performer, using different stances, body language, vocal tones, etc. for each.

Impromptu Speaking (IMP) - Students are given a prompt (usually a quote, proverb, or single word) and have 2 minutes to prepare a 6-minute speech on the topic. As the speech may be understandably less vocally polished than one memorized before the tournament, evaluation is weighted toward thoughtful analysis and clear organization.

Informative Speaking (INF) - Students compose a speech that informs their audience of an idea, process, object, or another subject of topical interest. The 8-minute speech is written and memorized by the student beforehand and should provide plenty of detailed information while still being accessible and entertaining for the audience.

Oratorical Declamation (OD) - Students memorize and perform an 8-minute interpretation of a published speech written or delivered by another person. While Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address would be one example, students typically choose less famous speeches, sometimes by mostly unknown speakers (commencement addresses, TED talks, etc.).

Original Comedy (OC) - Students write and perform an original 8-minute humorous script. These should feature multiple characters interacting within some sort of plot. Obnoxious voices and silly storylines are encouraged!

Original Oratory (OO) - Students compose an argumentative speech that serves as a “call to action” for their audience. The 8-minute speech is written and memorized by the student beforehand, should be focused on a problem the student feels needs to be addressed (gun violence, high taxes, low voter turnout, etc.), and should offer solutions to the problem.

Poetry Reading (PO) - Students find a poem or poems and read them to the audience out of a small notebook, using vocal inflection, facial expression, and hand gestures to convey emotion and communicate the message of the piece(s) throughout the 8-minute performance. Memorization is not necessary in this event; however, practice is critical in order to eliminate stumbles, allow for sustained eye contact with the audience, and gain a deep understanding of the piece.

Prose Reading (PR) - Students find a piece of literature and read it to the audience out of a small notebook, using vocal inflection, facial expression, and hand gestures to convey emotion and communicate the message of the piece throughout the 8-minute performance. Memorization is not necessary in this event; however, practice is critical in order to eliminate stumbles, allow for sustained eye contact with the audience, and gain a deep understanding of the piece.

Radio Speaking (RS) - Students are provided a packet of news stories and are given 45 minutes to construct and practice a 5-minute newscast containing world, national, local and sports news, along with weather and a commercial. Memorization is not necessary; the performer reads their assembled script and is evaluated on broadcast organization, clear enunciation with minimal stumbles, and a pleasant and professional delivery that varies depending on the tone of each news story, much as a radio or TV news anchor aims for. Depending on the tournament, scripts may be assembled at home the evening before with no preparation time limit.

Special Occasion Speaking (SOS) - Students compose a speech that uses humor to convey an important message. The 8 minute speech is written and memorized by the student beforehand, and is structured as a lighthearted and entertaining address to a particular group of people (Student Council members, English department staff, Boy Scout troop, etc.) that highlights an issue the student feels deserves attention (technology addiction, self-centeredness, homework load, etc.).