Speech Team Events


 SPEECH INDIVIDUAL EVENTS is an IHSA sanctioned category comprised of thirteen different acting and public speaking events. The State Series is held the first three weekends in February.



Original Oratory:  The speaker writes an 8 min. persuasive speech. The student uses logic and a variety of sources and experiences to convince the audience as to the validity of the points presented.

Oratorical Declamation:  The speaker presents an 8 min. speech that someone else wrote. He must interpret the writer’s thoughts and present them to the audience in a timely and interesting manor. The speech must be memorized.

Impromptu Speaking:  An event where the student is given a topic in the form of a quotation, name, word, or title, and is given 8 min to prepare and deliver a speech, in which he interprets the meaning of the topic and its relevancy.

Extemporaneous Speaking:  The student must collect a variety of materials, based on current events and keep them in files in some kind of box. At the tournament, the student receives an envelope containing 15 or more questions, from which he must choose 3. From that group, the student chooses the one for which he feels he could create the most interesting speech. The event is actually prepared AT the tournament. This event is perfect if you are interested in law, politics, economics, or current events.

Special Occasion Speaking:  The student writes a speech for a specific audience on a specific topic, similar to oratory, except the point of the speech is to also entertain and not just persuade. This event was previously called “After Dinner Speaking.”

Radio Speaking:  The student prepares a 5 min. news script that must include international, national, and local news, as well as sports weather and a commercial. The intent is to interpret the materials correctly and hit the 5 min. time limit “on the nose”, or within the 4:50-5:05 time limit.


HUMOROUS INTERPRETATION/DRAMATIC INTERPRETATION: These are 8 min. events where one person acts out a published script written for one or more actors. The student must “pop” into the different characters and create a different physical stance, facial expressions, and vocal interpretation for each individual character.

HUMOROUS DUET ACTING/DRAMATIC DUET ACTING: These are 8 min. events where two people act out a scene from any published script. The script is either humorous of dramatic in nature. Actors are scored on their ability to interpret their character’s personality, how well the actors move (stage presence) and relate to one another, and their use of physical humor or drama.

ORIGINAL COMEDY:  The speaker writes his/her own 8 min. comedy script. It may be done as “stand up” comedy or use the format for telling a story. Usually personal experiences are the easiest to use when developing the script.

PROSE READING:  The reader chooses a published short story that must be cut to 8 min. in length. The reader then transfers the story to separate black pages in a black binder and reads from the script on stage. The story must be interpreted vocally, using facial expressions and overall body language.

 VERSE READING: The physical set up is the same as it is for prose, but the reading is actually 1-3 poems of the same theme or topic. The reader may use 1-3 authors as well, or use the same author for all pieces. The three poems must be related in some way.