Speech Events

  • Interpretive Events:

    Poetry and Prose Interpretation:

    UIL Circuit, NSDA Consolation Event

    Students perform a selection of literature from either poetry or prose.

    Poetry Categories:

    A: This Is Me

    The goal of this category is to examine the performer’s ancestry, origin, heritage, and/or dreams and aspirations. The performer should explore their own personal background and/or what their future may hold.

    In this category, the contestant may read one single poem, an excerpt of a poem or poems, or may create a program containing no more than six literary works. If a program is used, one poem from an unpublished source is allowed to be included in the program. The majority of the performance must be published poetry. The intent of this category is not to encourage an entirely originally-authored program.

    Unless published as poetry, song lyrics may be used only as transitions, and if transitions are sung, the singing should be limited in scope.  For this category, co-authored and anonymous works are permissible. The poet(s) used in this category shall not be used in Category B of poetry.

    The introduction and/or transitions shall include all titles and poets read and should connect the literature to the goal of the category.  If the program is woven, it shall be stated in the introduction, and the different poems should be distinguishable through interpretation. If song lyrics are used as transitions, it shall be stated in the introduction.

     
    B: This Speaks to Me

    The goal of this category is to select poetry that speaks to the performer. This category is reader’s choice.

    In this category, the contestant may read a single poem, an excerpt of a poem or may create a program containing no more than six poems. For this category, poetry may include traditional and contemporary poetry and novels-in-verse. Co-authored poems are permissible. Anonymous works are prohibited. The poet(s) used in this category shall not be used in Category A of poetry. 

    The introduction and/or transitions shall include all titles and poets read and should relate to the audience why the poetry was chosen. If the program is woven, it shall be stated in the introduction, and the different poems should be distinguishable through interpretation.

    Prose Categories:

    A: This Is Me

    The goal of this category is to examine the performer’s ancestry, origin, heritage, and/or dreams and aspirations. The performer should explore their own personal background and/or what their future may hold.
                                
    In this category, the contestant may read a single literary work of prose, an excerpt of a work of prose or may create a program containing no more than four literary works. If a program is used, one selection from an unpublished source is allowed to be included in the program. The majority of the performance must be published prose. The intent of this category is not to encourage an entirely originally-authored program.

    The performance may be fiction or non-fiction. Examples may include, but are not limited to oral histories, testimonies, interviews, and letters. For this category, co-authored and anonymous works are permissible. The author(s) used in this category shall not be used in Category B of prose.

    The introduction and/or transitions shall include all titles and authors read and should connect the literature to the goal of the category. If the program is woven, it shall be stated in the introduction, and the different literary works should be distinguishable through interpretation.

     
    B: This Speaks to Me

    The goal of this category is to select literature that speaks to the performer. This category is reader’s choice.

    In this category, the contestant may read a single literary work of prose, an excerpt of a work of prose or may create a program containing no more than four literary works. For this category, prose includes fiction, nonfiction, news sources, speeches, essays, letters and diaries. Co-authored works are permissible. Anonymous works are prohibited. The author(s) used in this category shall not be used in Category A of prose.

    The introduction and/or transitions shall include all titles and authors read and should relate to the audience why the literature was chosen. If the program is woven, the contestant shall state it in the introduction, and the different works should be distinguishable through interpretation.

     

    Humorous Interpretation

    NSDA and TFA Circuits

    Using a play, short story, or other published work, students perform a selection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes in length. Humorous Interpretation is designed to test a student’s comedic skills through script analysis, delivery, timing, and character development. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. No props or costumes may be used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author.

    Humorous Interpretation Example

    Dramatic Interpretation

    NSDA and TFA Circuits

    Using a play, short story, or other published work, students perform a selection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes in length. With a spotlight on character development and depth, this event focuses on the student’s ability to convey emotion through the use of a dramatic text. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. No props or costumes may be used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance, and state the title and the author.

    Dramatic Interpretation Example

    Duo Interpretation

    NSDA and TFA Circuits

    Two competitors team up to deliver a ten-minute performance of a published play or story. Using off-stage focus, competitors convey emotion and environment through a variety of performance techniques focusing on the relationships and interactions between the characters. No props or costumes are used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the students to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author.

    Duo Interpretation Example

    Program Oral Interpretation

    NSDA and TFA Circuits

    Using selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a ten minute performance around a central theme. Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection.

    Program Oral Interpretation Example

     

  • Non-Interpretive Events:

    Extemporaneous Speaking

    UIL, NSDA, and TFA Circuits

    Extemporaneous speaking, colloquially known as extemp, is a limited-preparation speech event based on research and original analysis.

    Example Extemp Speech

     

    Original Oratory

    NSDA and TFA Circuits

    Students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Limited in their ability to quote words directly, competitors craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Topics range widely, and can be informative or persuasive in nature. The speech is delivered from memory.

    Example Original Oratory

     

    Informative Speaking

    NSDA and TFA Circuits

    Students author and deliver a ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Competitors create the speech to educate the audience on a particular topic. All topics must be informative in nature; the goal is to educate, not to advocate. Visual aids are permitted, but not required. The speech is delivered from memory.

    Example Informative Speech

  • Debate Events:

    Policy (CX) Debate:

    UIL, NSDA, TFA Circuits

    Policy debate is a form of debate competition in which teams of two advocate for and against a resolution that typically calls for policy change by the United States federal government.

    2018-19 Topic (all circuits):

    Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms from the United States.

    Generating Offense with Panel Judges

    Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate:

    UIL, NSDA, TFA Circuits

    Lincoln-Douglas debate is one person debating against another person and is primarily focused on competing values.
     
    UIL Fall Topic:
    Resolved: The benefits of genetically modified food outweigh the risk.
     
    NSDA/TFA September/October Topic:
    Resolved: In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions.
     

    Congressional Debate

    UIL, NSDA, TFA Circuits

    Congressional Debate is a mock legislative assembly competition where students draft bills (proposed laws) and resolutions (position statements), which they and their peers later debate and vote to pass into law.

    UIL Docket: Available Oct. 7

    TFA Fall Docket