These speeches are prepared and memorized ahead of time. They are the standard oratorical speeches we think of when we think of a public speech. They often involve presentation aids. Speakers who perform these speeches frequently perform them all season.
These are ten-minute maximum speeches which have as their main purpose to inform the audience of something about which the audience is unfamiliar. Frequently, presentation aids (not multi-media) are used. Strong organization, with previews is a must. Ten to twenty cited sources are required.
Quite similar in format to Informative Speeches, these speeches are also a maximium of ten minutes in length, with strong organization, previews and ten to twenty cited sources. Non-multi-media aids may be used. The major difference is the need to call for an action to be taken by the audience.
Speeches to Entertain/After Dinner Speeches
These are funny informative or persuasive speeches. All the same organization, previewing, cited reference, and presentation aid rules apply as they do to Informative or Persuasive Speeches. The speeches must also make their point(s) by being funny. These are not just stand-up comedy. Stream of consciousness speeches do not do well in this event.
These original speeches are designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, campaign, etc. through the use of rhetorical principles. Presentation aids may be used. Speeches are ten minutes in length. The same organizational, cited reference, and previewing rules apply to these speeches as to Informative and Persuasive speeches.
LIMITED PREPARATION EVENTS
With only a short period of time to prepare (anywhere between one minute to thirty minutes), the speaker will prepare a well-organized and researched presentation on a topic (or one of a choice of topics) which is presented to him or her at the beginning of the round.
Topics are presented thirty minutes before the seven minute (maximum) speech on current events is to be delivered. A choice of three different topics per round is given, usually of a national or international nature, from which one is chosen on which to speak. Speakers may bring preparation materials with them to the tournament. Sources (seven to twenty) are cited during the speech; the speaker is allowed a notecard for reference. Preference is given to those speakers who show superb organization and analysis.
Three topics of a general nature, including quotes, song lyrics, and one-word abstracts, are presented to speakers who are then given seven minutes to choose one topic and use the time as they wish to prepare and speak. Veterans generally prepare for 1 1/2 minutes and speak for the rest. Quick-wittedness and a glib delivery can be assets, but organization is the key to this event.
With generally fifteen minutes to prepare, teams are given topics of fact, value, or policy, and told whether they will be upholding the Proponent's or Opponent's side of the argument. The Proponent side will choose the interpretation of the case, define terms, set forth the criteria under which the debate will proceed and establish a plan if one is called for by the topic. The Opponent team will assess whether the Proponent team's case (and plan if one has been issued) is a fair representation of the topic at hand and argue accordingly within the parameters of debate theory.
Evidence and knowledge is expected to be that of a college student who is well-read (the criteria is what one would know should he or she read The New York Times daily) and who keeps up with current events. Argument proceeds from side to side in a prescribed fashion before a judge who ultimately chooses a winner based upon accepted debate rules.
All interpretation events must be composed of material which has literary merit. All require the use of manuscript. The focus should generally be off-stage. This is what distinguishes Interpretation from acting. All interpretation events have a maximum time limit of ten minutes except Reader (Interpreter's) Theater, which has a time limit of 25 minutes. No costumes, props (except the use of black notebooks), lighting, sounds other than what the interpreters make, or makeup is allowed.
Prose Interpretation is one or more selections of material chosen from books, novels, or short stories, but not plays, screenplays or poetry. Multiple characters may be represented. Material may be serious or humorous. It is quite common that the selections are woven among one another.
Dramatic Interpretation has one or more cuttings which represent(s) one or more characters from a play or plays. The material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Multiple characters are often presented. The material may be humorous or serious. Frequently, the selections are woven into one another.
Duo Interpretation is a cutting from a play or plays, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. The presentation must be from the manuscript and the focus must be off-stage and not to one another. If more than one selection is used, they are often woven into one another. Staging or blocking is very important in this event.
Program Oral Interpretation
Program Oral Interpretation is a set of thematically linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose/poetry/drama). A substantial portion of the total time must be devoted to each of the genres used in the program. Different gentres means the material must appear in separate pieces of literature; i.e., a poem included in a short story that appears only in the short story does not constitute a second genre. Often the literature genres are interspersed into one another.
Poetry Interpretation is a selection or selections of poetry which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings are prohibited. Poems are often interwoven with one another.
Readers (Interpreters) Theater
Readers (Interpreters) Theater is an ensemble piece performed by three or more (up to 15) performers. Material can be from one source (a traditional play) or a series of selected pieces. These theaters have much interaction among performers, even to the point of choreography, and break the "wall" more often than do Duo Interpretations. They also push the envelope on costumes and props. Frequently, Theaters consider issues of social significance.