Speech Events

You may enter up to FOUR speech events.

No double entry with any debate events.

DUO is ASYNCHRONOUS and you should have your URLs for those recordings uploaded by the end of Tuesday, January 4th.

All other events are LIVE according to the speech schedule.

There will be four preliminary rounds in each event. Elimination rounds will start at octafinals for events with more than 111 entries, quarterfinals for events with more than 55 entries and semifinals for those events with more than 27 entries. Coaches are urged to emphasize the importance of conscientious attendance in scheduled rounds, since “no-shows” make it impossible for the tournament staff to assure participants an equal level of competition.

MATERIAL: Material in individual events may not have been used by that student in competition prior to the completion of the 2020 High School National Forensic League Tournament.


Bid eligible for both NIETOC and TOC

OO consists of a speech that is the original work of the student and is designed to persuade the audience. Presentation must be memorized. Any non-factual reference, especially a personal reference, must be so identified. Not more than 100 words of the oration may be a direct quotation from any other source. Maximum time is ten (10) minutes.


Bid eligible for NIETOC and TOC

Selections used in these events shall be cuttings from published printed novels, short stories, plays, or poetry. The presentation is memorized and is delivered without a manuscript. Costumes or props are not allowed in the presentation. Adaptations may be for the purpose of continuity only. Maximum time is ten (10) minutes, including memorized introduction, which presents the author(s) and title.


Bid eligible for NIETOC and TOC

This event involves two competitors interpreting a cutting from a play, prose or poetry, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of one or more characters by each individual. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes, lighting, props, etc. are to be used. The presentation is memorized and delivered without a manuscript. The competitors’ focus should be off-stage and not on each other. Maximum time is ten (10) minutes, including memorized introduction, which presents the author(s) and title.

Duos will be asked to submit a video performance prior to the beginning of competition. This is to mitigate potential problems with too many people using the integrated videoconferencing software simultaneously (the software recommends limiting to 15 people. 7 Duo teams + 3 judges in a semis room, for example, would exceed that limit and degrade quality). Duos will be required to record from separate rooms, even if competitors are able to be in the same location (We recommend using Zoom and its built-in recording functionality). Editing the videos beyond merely truncating the beginning and end (to eliminate footage of fiddling with the camera, for example) will not be allowed. The use of professional lighting will not be allowed (we highly recommend that performers find a large window, put the camera near the window, and face that direction for good, consistent illumination) (DON’T skirt this one by using your stage lights or something! That’s not cool. Other folks don’t have that ability/access). We do recommend that competitors use microphones of some sort when recording (the microphone built into wireless headphones is usually a good choice – Feel free to contact Richie for recommendations on inexpensive microphones).
Please have students upload their videos to YouTube, and set the privacy setting to “Unlisted” – Other options create permissions difficulties, and we cannot guarantee your video will be seen.


Bid eligible for TOC

Competitors will perform either Prose and Poetry. Descriptions below:

For Prose:

Selections used in this event shall be cuttings from published printed novels, short stories, essays (excluding plays or poetry). This is may be a memorized event but contestants must use a manuscript. Adaptations may be for the purpose of continuity only. Maximum time is ten (10) minutes, including memorized introduction, which presents the author(s) and title.

For Poetry:

This division is designed for the presentation of any published literature in the genre of poetry. This may be memorized but contestants must use a manuscript. Maximum time is ten (10) minutes, including the original introduction. Students may splice two or more poems by performing them in alternating order. They may NOT blend different poems from different authors and perform them as ONE poem.


Bid eligible for the NIETOC and TOC

Topics for Extemp shall be based on foreign and domestic affairs for three months prior to the tournament. Speakers will be given 30 minutes to prepare after drawing from three topics suitable to their area of emphasis. Speakers may use one index card. Maximum time is seven (7) minutes.

NSDA Piloted rules for 2019-2020 are in effect, so internet is allowed in prep.


Topics for Impromptu will be quotations. All speakers in a round will speak on one of two quotations, and thus it is necessary that competitors cannot view any contestant before them.  Each speaker has a maximum of seven (7) minutes to prepare and deliver a speech. Note cards may be used when preparing and speaking.


Bid Eligible for the NIETOC

Students author and deliver a ten-minute (10) 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.


Bid eligible for the NIETOC and TOC

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.