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Individual speech events are types of speech competition characterized by individuals competing in a variety of different events.

These events span the areas of public speaking, acting, reading and interpretation. Sometimes confused with competitive Debate, Individual Events is actually a unique form of competition, often referred to simply as Speech Team or Forensics. Organized competition takes place both on the high school and collegiate level. Speech and Debate competitions are subsets of Forensics competition. In the United States, this is organized by the NFL or the National Forensic League.

Public Address events

Original oratory
Original Oratory, or simply Oratory, is one of the most common speech events, and is the only public speaking event offered as a main event at the National Forensic League (NFL) National Tournament. In Original Oratory, a competitor prepares a speech on a topic of his or her choosing, and can be informative or persuasive in nature. Often, a competitor may use only one speech for the entire season. The purpose of Oratory is to inspire belief or reinforce conviction. On the high school level, the speech is generally delivered without the use of visual aids or notes. In many leagues (including the two national tournaments listed below), the number of directly quoted words from other sources in the speech is limited (at NFL nationals, for example, the limit is 150 words). Speeches are generally between eight and ten minutes in length with a warning often given when time has expired, although most tournaments give a 30 second grace period before a competitor's rank is dropped.

Persuasion is often considered the college corollary to Oratory. The focus of the event is to change, reinforce, or instill the attitudes, beliefs, and values of the audience. Although there are rarely rules that dictate what topics or formats are permissible in Persuasion, most persuasions are policy based: speakers advocate a specific policy proposal to address some need and offer their recommendation in a problem/cause/solution or cause/effect/solution format. In 2006, for example, the winning Persuasion topics at the American Forensics Association (AFA) and National Forensics Association (NFA) concerned ways to improve teacher retention and to encourage citizens to correspond with their Congresspersons, respectively.

Informative Speaking is a speech meant to inform the audience. This speech can take on topics ranging from the newest, high-tech inventions from around the world that hope to cure cancer, to more light-hearted topics such as Wikipedia itself. The topic should be one that is timely and interesting, making it something that the general audience doesn't readily understand. It is the job of the speaker to make the complex topic easier to understand. In intercollegiate competition, the speech time limit is ten minutes and typically memorized. In high school competition, the time limits vary among different states. Informative Speaking is also referred to as Expository Speaking. Some forms of Expository Speaking utilize Visual Aids, though they are optional. Expository Speaking in California emphasizes greatly on the usage of visual aids and puns/wordplay, though neither are required.

In theatre, a monologue (or monolog) is presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience. Monologues are common across the range of dramatic media (plays, films, etc.) as well as in non-dramatic media such as poetry. Monologues share much in common with several other literary devices including soliloquies, apostrophes, and asides. There are, however, distinctions between each of these devices.

Declamation / Memorized Speech / Oratorical Interpretation / Great Speeches

Declamation, or Oratorical Declamation, or Memorize Speech is the interpretation and presentation of a non-original speech. These speeches may be historical (Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech, etc.), adapted from magazine articles, commencement addresses, or any number of other adaptations of non-original material, including forensics speeches from previous years. Declamations tend to be persuasive, and competition is similar to Original Oratory. As in Oratory, the length of a speech is generally about eight minutes. Memorization is usually a requirement in Declamation. It is also termed 'Oratorical Interpretation'. This is not a college event.

Communication Analysis/Rhetorical Criticism

Communication Analysis (CA), or Rhetorical Criticism (Rhet Crit) is an individual event in which the speaker (or rhetor) has ten minutes to present the speech. The speech structure usually consists of: an introduction, presenting a rhetorical artifact, a discussion of a communication theory or model, application of the communication theory to the artifact, implications of that analysis, and a conclusion. The artifact may be anything that has rhetorical significance: a book, a speech, an advertising campaign, a protest movement, etc. The rhetor identifies the goals the artifact seeks to accomplish. He or she then selects a model form of

analysis - typically borrowed from communication scholars - to determine the effectiveness of the artifact in reaching its goals. For instance, in analyzing an anti-smoking campaign, the rhetor might opt for a model discussing the most effective methods of employing fear in persuading a mass audience. The rhetor would then apply the model to the artifact and draw various conclusions about the artifact's strengths and weaknesses, the success or failure of the model as an analytical tool and other insight gained from the analysis.

Special Occasion Speaking

Special Occasion Speaking is similar to Oratory, but focuses on lighter subjects, and addresses a specific audience. Comedy is seen frequently in Special Occasion Speaking, but should not detract from the message the speaker is trying to relate. The speech is not as strictly persuasive as in Oratory, but can be designed to inform. Speeches typically run about six to eight minutes. This event is limited to some high schools and is not a collegiate event.

After Dinner Speaking

After Dinner Speaking (ADS) is a public address event similar to Speech to Entertain meant to take an important topic and make greater sense of it through the use of humor. It can take the form of any of the accepted public speaking structures but often takes the form of an Informative or Persuasive speech. This event covers a variety of topics, but the use of humor is central to the execution of the event. The After-Dinner speech should not resort to the base forms of humor. The humor should be topical and relevant to the idea presented. This type of speech is found at the collegiate level and is typically eight to ten minutes long. Generally, it is a humorous speech with a serious undertone and/or an actual point.

Pecha Kucha
Pecha Kucha is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (six minutes and 40 seconds in total). The format, which keeps presentations concise and fast-paced, powers multiple-speaker events called PechaKuchaNights (PKNs) or Pecha Kucha Nights. PechaKucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo's Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), as a way to attract people to SuperDeluxe, their experimental event space in Roppongi, and to allow young designers to meet, show their work, and exchange ideas.

Miting de Avance Speeches

In the Philippines, candidates vying for elective positions are given the opportunity to voice out their plans and programs of action through the Miting de Avance, done a night or two nights before the actual elections. It is not moderated and can range from three to four hours.

Limited Preparation Events

A limited preparation event, as opposed to prepared events, is an event in which the speakers have no prior knowledge of the speech they will give, with a set amount of preparation time to write a short speech. Preparation times vary per event, ranging from two minutes to an hour, after which time the competitors perform their speeches.

Radio speaking
A radio speech is a prepared event that includes news stories, sometimes an original commercial of no fewer then 30 seconds (depending on the tournament) and a commentary about a subject covered in the news stories. The news stories presented must have taken place 30 days prior to the tournament date. The commentary which shall be an original editorial reflecting the opinion of the contestant should consume 12 minutes of the total speech and be presented last.

Extemporaneous speaking
Extemporaneous Speaking, Extempore Speaking, or simply Extemp, is a speech given at a tournament with little preparation. Extemp is a mainstay at most speech competitions. At the beginning of any round of extemp, competitors are usually given 3 questions relating to current events, and asked to choose one to prepare a speech on. The competitors have a preparation period, usually referred to as "prep time", during which they use periodicals they brought to the tournament to prepare the speech. This "prep time" is usually thirty minutes, and at the end of this time, competitors must present their speech without the aid of notes. Extemp speeches range from four to seven minutes in length. In Extemp Duo, pairs are given three prompts that must be worked into a scene. The items must be a key element in the scene and not just mentioned in passing without any effect on the story. Competitors have 20 minutes of prep and 3 5 minutes to perform. Duo interp rules apply, and partners may not acknowledge each other in any way. Extemp Duo is not a common event.

Impromptu speaking
Competitors are given a topic, usually a single word or phrase that may be a person, thing, well-known saying, a less wellknown quotation, current event, or an object. They then compose a speech based on the prompt. Impromptu speeches generally run about four (the minimum required speaking time at most tournaments) to six minutes in length, with anywhere from 15 seconds to five minutes of "prep time". However, at many other tournaments, there is neither a set limit to how much time you may use to prep nor a minimum to how long one speaks. Judging typically focuses on overall speaking ability (enunciation, pace, vocal variety, etc.), creativeness (pre-made or "canned" speeches are generally frowned upon), and overall balance of the speech (points of roughly equal length, appropriate length of intro, conclusion, etc.). In many states, impromptu speaking is often a contest combining wit and humor with actual insight; speeches should be funny but also must deliver a point. Acting out characters, as in drama events is generally frowned upon.

Extemporaneous commentary
Competitors in Extemporaneous Commentary are given a topic of national, regional or local importance, and then prepare a speech on that topic during a preparation period. Judging often focuses on the quality of the vocal presentation, organization of the speech and the use of sources to back up assertions. The speech is usually presented sitting down. According to the National Forensic League, the event imitates the work of media commentators who speak about trends or community problems. Source: http://www.nflonline.org/Rostrum/SupplementalConsolation

Extemporaneous Programmed Reading

In high school tournaments, this category is also represented strongly. It is more likened to interpretation than limited preparation events, in that every round is an interpretation. However, the difference lies in that each competitor receives the piece for each round in an hour draw, in which time they read and cut the piece for interpretation. Three kinds of interpretation are represented in the different rounds, one of which is for finals. These three types are Humorous, Serious, and Poetry interpretation. Each competitor has eight minutes to deliver the cut interp before the judge. All other rules are generally the same as an interpretation event. This event is typically only represented in North Dakota.

In this high school event, competitors are given a children's book, fairy tale, fable, myth, legend, or ghost story to read. The competitors have a half hour to read the given piece and put it into their own words. At that time, the speakers give their version of the tale to the judge, in under eight minutes. Its only limits are no stage make-up, costumes, or props. Different voices and characters are used. Each character should be easily distinguished.

Discussion, sometimes simply referred to as "Disco" features groups normally consisting of 5 to 8 people. Over the course of the speech season they research issues from a predetermined topic. In a round, the group is presented with a task usually assigning them as a special citizens group, congress, the senate, or another concerned group. They will be given an issue to work together and compromise on a solution. Each discussant should act as a leader, proposing an agenda, ideas, or encouragement that are helpful in forming a solution. They are given a one-hour time limit.

Acting and interpretation events

Dramatic Interpretation
Dramatic Interpretation (DI) is an event in which the competitor interprets a selection from a dramatic theatrical script. A single competitor plays several parts, which are differentiated using "pops" between various positions and voices, each representing a different character. "Pops" are supposed to be as clean as possible, and each character should be clearly distinguishable from any other character. One can also play one character.

Humorous Interpretation
Humorous Interpretation (often shortened to HI or humorous) is the humorous alternative to DI. In this event the competitor will perform an eight to ten minute selection of a literary work of a humorous nature. It is sometimes combined with DI (taking the name of DI). As in DI, characters are distinguished through the use of "pops" and voice work. HI is not an event at the collegiate level, as collegiate DI is not intended as a distinction between comedy and drama, but instead as a literary form distinction from prose and poetry.

Original Comedy
Original Comedy, or OC as it is called by its competitors, is a public speaking event similar to Humorous Interpretation, involving pops and voices for individual Characters. The main time frame is about 810 minutes. Competitors write their own piece of comedy (most often in theatrical style as opposed to an event like SOS) with an introduction, three points (or more or less) and a conclusion. However, the introduction, points, and conclusion are not directly stated, as in events such as Special Occasion Speaking. Usually, the main storyline is about the competitor himself/herself but it is more often about made up characters with a made up problem dealing with it in a humorous way. There is usually a moral to be

learned by the end of the performance. The main difference between Original Comedy and Humorous Interpretation is that in OC one must write their own speech whereas in HI one performs a published work.

Serious Interpretation
Serious interpretation (SI) is another alternative to the above events. However, it is not limited to a theatrical script, but any literary work. It follows the same rules as humorous and dramatic, except for material. This is a high school event.

Duo Interpretation
Much like DI and HI, Duo pieces have at least two parts, to be performed by two people. The principles are generally the same, except there are two performers instead of just one. In Duo, the actors are not allowed to make physical or eye contact, or use props. They are also not permitted to touch the ground with anything but their feet. Remember that rules will vary with district regulations. Many High school districts, in many states, have yet to add the event for competitors. Some states such as Texas (TFA) are altering duo for duet as a permanent change.

Duet Acting
In some states an event similar to Duo acting is offered, the major distinction being that the performers are allowed eye and physical contact. While virtually all governing organizations stipulate rules that disallow the use of props and costumes, organizations' rules do vary when concerning the use of sets, sometimes including tables and/or chairs. Some states divide this event into Dramatic and Humorous Duet Acting.

Prose / Poetry Interpretation / Read Speech / Literary Reading/ Oral Interpretation / Verse
Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Read Speech, Literary Reading, Oral Interpretation and Verse are events that consist of an interpretation of another author's work. Competitors read the material from a small binder or book they use in performance. This binder is traditionally black and has a height of about 10". While books are not required to fit this description, competitors who utilize a different style of book are often ranked down for it. Because competitors interpret the literature via facial expressions and eye contact, memorization is generally helpful. In most cases, the literature is memorized and competitors are merely pretending to read the material. However, points may be deducted if a speech is "too memorized" and the competitor does not look at his/her binder enough. Time limits for these events range from four to ten minutes, depending on the organization hosting the event. A common practice for Poetry Interpretation of late is to find a published piece of slam poetry (online or physical) and perform that. This, unfortunately, leads to many teams recycling the same poetry for their novices and the event is flooded with pieces that all look and feel the same because larger teams, which have a much larger student to teacher ratio, are trained to perform the poetry exactly the same way as the previous member of the team did through other members of the team. Notable examples include poetry written by J.J.Jonas, and Poetri Williams.

Improvisational Acting Pairs/Dual Improvisation

Improvisational Acting Pairs/Dual Improvisation is an event where two competitors team up and are given a scene on a small piece of paper. After two minutes of planning, they perform their scene.

Original Performance
This event, offered in high school state tournaments such as the Indiana High School Forensic Association, allows competitors to write and perform their own prose, poetry, or dramatic work.