The speech team is an IHSA activity where you can explore 14 different speaking events listed below. Our season is from September-February -- practices are after school 2-3 days a week with your coaching group.
Contact any coach for more information.
Speech Team Individual Events
This is essentially the most basic of the events, but definitely not the easiest. In Declamation, one finds a speech (or an essay) previously delivered by someone else and then performs it with their own interpretation of the text. This particular speech must be memorized. (7-8 minutes in length)
Unlike Oratorical Declamation, one must write their own speech for this event. Traditionally, the speaker picks a topic in which they feel passionate about and tries to argue that side. It closely resembles a persuasive speech. (7-8 minutes in length)
Informational Speaking is essentially the distant cousin of Original Oratory. This speech also requires the speaker to write their own piece, but it’s not persuasive in the slightest. Informational speeches simply provide information, but much emphasis is put on how you make it interesting. You guessed it- it also has to be memorized. (7-8 minutes in length)
For those of you who love global affairs and current events, this event may be the one for you. However, this is an event that requires a speaker that can think fast on their feet- after all, you only have about 45 minutes to write it. Traditionally, speakers pull three topics and have to give a speech (usually about 6 minutes) abut one of the three topics. A note card is accepted as an aid for your speaking.
Impromptu is another event that requires speakers who can think in their feet. At the meet, the speaker will draw either a quote or a topic and have 8 minutes to BOTH perform and write the speech about whatever they've drawn. A note card can also be used as an aid.
Original Comedy is an event that is truly a genre all its own. The speaker here really has to have tremendous acting and comedic skill. An OC, as it's usually shortened to, is essentially a one-man show where you as the speaker play all of the characters, and of course, it has to be funny. This speech is written by the speaker. (7-8 minutes in length)
Special Occasion Speaking:
Special Occasion Speaking is the result of a love triangle between Informational Speaking, Original Comedy, and Original Oratory. The speech traditionally has a serious topic that the speaker wants to discuss, but is presented in a humorous, happy-go-lucky and even sarcastic manner. An SOS speech is usually around 7-8 minutes in length and is both memorized and written by the speaker.
Prose is the storytelling event. The speaker gets to read from a book in this event (how exciting!) and performs a story. Stories chosen can be either serious or humorous, but it's crucial that the speaker is able of expressing a wide range of emotion in order to accommodate all of the characters in the story. Again, 8 minutes is the norm for a prose piece.
Poetry is similar to Prose and that the speaker uses a book rather than memorize the piece, but a poem (or several of them) will be performed. It is crucial that the presenter truly understands and has digested the poem in order to make for a good piece. Yet again, 8 minutes is usually the appropriate amount of time for poetry.
To put it simply, Dramatic Interpretation is essentially the performance of a long, dramatic monologue. Like Original Comedy, the presenter plays all of the characters in the piece, but DOES NOT write it themselves. (6-8 minutes in length)
Dramatic Interpretation's brother is named Humorous Interpretation. It is an event with the same one-man show concept, but presented in a humorous manner. Much like Original Comedy in delivery. (6-8 minutes in length)
Radio Speaking is really a genre all its own. Upon arriving at a tournament, each Radio speaker will be given a packet with the day's news. It is up the speaker to come up with a script between 4:50 and 5:05 in length that resembles a newscast using that information. Unlike every other events, the judge DOES NOT see the performer, so that makes vocal delivery the most crucial aspect of Radio.
Speech Team Partner Events
Humorous Duet Acting:
Two partners pick a humorous scene from either a play or a free standing scene and perform it together without the use of any costumes and props. The only props that are allowed in HDA are two chairs and a table. Comedic timing is crucial here. 7-8 minutes is the norm for this piece.
Dramatic Duet Acting:
Exactly like Humorous Duet Acting, but with a Dramatic scene. Also 7-8 minutes in length.