Description of the 13 MSHSL Events in Competitive Speech

 

Creative Expression is the performance of material written by the contestant, of which no more than 20% may be material from other sources. Judges will be looking for evidence of your creative imagination. You may use pantomime, storytelling, interpretive reading, impersonation, or any combination of these performance styles, but props, costumes, music (vocal and instrumental), and stage makeup are not allowed.
 
Discussion is an effort on the part of a small group to reach a solution to a problem through informal interchange of facts, inferences, and judgments. The topic this year is "Privacy". Discussion seeks consensus rather than majority rule. The focus of this event should be the encouragement of cooperation and critical thinking to arrive at the collective goal of better understanding and problem solving. The discussion will be task-oriented where participants act as members of a group whose goal is most frequently an agreed-upon statement of policy, rules, lists, etc., which may also include rationale. The discussants should control their own process of inquiry. Emerging leadership from within the group should develop. Management of time for that round should remain the responsibility of the discussants, themselves.
 
Drama Interpretation uses any published selection of dramatic literature (plays, radio plays, television plays, or screenplays) with literary merit and appropriate to the reader. The mood of the cutting must be essentially serious. The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.
 
Duo Interpretation features two readers interpreting together one or more scenes from a single published selection of dramatic literature (plays, radio plays, television plays, or screen plays), serious or humorous, with literary merit and appropriate to the readers. The selection may include the portrayal of multiple characters by each performer.
 
Extemporaneous Reading contestants learn to introduce and read excerpts from both prose and poetry for the purpose of appreciation or enjoyment. The student will be judged on the ability to introduce the excerpt with a few appropriate extemporaneous (which may include a "teaser" only from the actual cutting remarks) and to read the short selection with effective vocal and bodily expressions.
 
Extemporaneous Speaking contestant must be well-versed in Current Events and like the pressure of writing a speech of up to 7 minutes in length in no more than 30 minutes. Speakers may choose from either U.S. or international topics.
 
Great Speeches is an event in which the contestant GIVES a speech ABOUT a speech. (OR an anthology of speeches (not to exceed three) related by common author, theme, or other element.) Each speech (public address) must have been actually delivered before the author's intended original audience. (For example, Sermon on the Mount is Biblical prose; Antony's Funeral Oration is Shakespearean Drama.) The student's speech will include excerpts of the original speech as well as analysis by the student. Information about each author/speaker, subject, original audience and occasion must be included in an introduction. During the presentation, the Contestant must also justify the selection for presentation to the contestant's immediate audience. The justification need not be an explicit statement, but may include such subjects as the historical or potential importance, language style, rhetorical technique and audience appeal. How portions of the original speech text are incorporated into the participant's presentation shall be at the discretion of the participant.
 
Humorous Interpretation uses any published selection, either prose, poetry or dramatic literature, with literary merit and appropriate to the reader. The selection shall not have been taken from record or tape. The cutting should amuse, give enjoyment, or create laughter. The student will be judged on the ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.
 
Informative Speaking is an event in which the student presents an original informative composition. Quality of thought, research and composition, as well as delivery, should be considered by the judges. All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources must be source-cited, both orally and in written text. The purpose of informative speaking is to present information which the audience may or may not possess and which the student believes important for the audience. The use of visual aids is optional. It is essential that the speech and its delivery avoid predominantly persuasive subjects and techniques.
 
Original Oratory is an event in which the contestant presents his/her own PERSUASIVE composition. Judging is based on the quality of thought and composition, as well as communicative delivery. It is expected that all materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources shall be documented orally and in the written text. The orator should not be expected to solve any of the great problems of the day, but must offer some insight and guidance. The contestant should be expected to speak intelligently and with a degree of originality about the message chosen. The orator should employ a variety of persuasive skills and strive for eloquence in style.
Poetry Interpretation uses any published poetry selection with literary merit and appropriate to the reader. The mood of the cutting is essentially serious. Selections for poetry may be one poem or several poems. The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.
 
Prose Interpretation uses any published selection of prose, fiction or non-fiction. Any selection, with literary merit and appropriate to the reader, that is not poetry, a play or part of a play, or a delivered speech, will be considered prose. The mood of the cutting must be essentially serious. The student should be judged on ability to get and give meaning through the use of vocal and bodily expression. Poise, vocal and physical delivery, and appropriateness of the selection to the interpreter should be considered.
 
Storytelling contestants are judged on the ability to recreate a story in their own words, with emphasis on a direct conversational style and spontaneous bodily action. The contestant must maintain the author's mood and format but must deliver the story extemporaneously.