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Description of Events

The commitment level for competing in Speech is straightforward. In order to remain a member of the Speech Team, students must commit to 2 2-hour practice sessions, which are typically held on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. The Assistant Speech Coach does offer other practice times in the event that a student has academic or filial obligations that make him/her unable to attend the regularly scheduled practices or require supplemental instruction. Students must show growth and dedication in at least 3 events to earn the opportunity to travel to tournaments that require airfare. Those hoping to attend the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament must qualify 2 events.

Debates Offered at Colorado College

We offer two distinct styles of debate at CC: National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) Parliamentary Debate and National Forensics Association (NFA) Lincoln-Douglas Debate.

We also offer two modes of competing: local and national. Local circuit debaters will attend regional tournaments and enjoy reduced commitment expectations. Those debating on the national circuit will be required to practice twice a week every week, with the exception of the 4th week of each Block. The expectation of students travelling and competing on the national circuit is that they will be practicing and debating in order to become nationally competitive.

NPDA Parliamentary Debate:

Called Parli Debate for short, this forum of competition pits two pairs of debaters against each other in a limited-preparation policy debate. Teams are given a different policy resolution each round that can range from This House should drop it like it's hot to The United States Federal Government should significantly increase it's cyber-defense of critical infrastructure. After the resolution is read twice students then have 15-25 min. to develop a case for or against the resolution and are only allowed to use what they hand-wrote during prep time.

Depending on the specificity of the prompt, creativity and interpretation are welcome. The debate round itself lasts approximately 45-50 min. This style of debate was generated from CEDA Policy Debate, and uses the same strategic positions and argument types as Policy Debate (Affirmative Shells, Disadvantages, Kritiks, Procedurals, and Theory). If you have had no exposure to Policy Debate, this is a great style of debate to learn the positions and pieces that make a good Policy case. This style of debate is great for those who want to learn a breadth of information about global and domestic affairs.

NFA Lincoln-Douglas Debate:

Called NFA-LD for short, this forum of competition pits individual competitors against each other in evidenced-based policy debate. Unlike Parli Debate, NFA-LD uses the same resolution all year long. However, since everyone is always looking to best you, research is an always present part of NFA-LD. Also, unlike Parli Debate, NFA-LD uses pre-pared materials and allows the use of computers with inter-net during the debate round. In NFA-LD, students are afforded the opportunity to cross-examine his/her opponent. NFA-LD is great if you'd like to learn research skills or gain a very in-depth knowledge of the year's topic. The rigor of the research skills required to be a competitive NFA-LD debater are unparalleled.


American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament

Below you will find a description of the various events, their descriptions, and typical time limits. You can also find further information here.

Limited Preparation

Impromptu Speaking

(Limited Preparation) An impromptu speech, substantive in nature, with topic selections varied by round and by section. Topics will be derived from quotations. Speakers will have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. However, the typical competitor will use 1:30-2:00 min. of preparation reserving the remainder of their time for the delivery of their speech. Timing commences with the acceptance of the topic sheet. Limited notes are permitted. Impromptu is great for students looking to better their ability to both speak and think on their feet.

Extemporaneous Speaking

(Limited Preparation) Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current events, choose one, and have 30 min. to prepare a speech that is the original work of the student. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 min. Limited notes are permitted. Students will speak in listed order. Postings of topics will be staggered. Extemporaneous speaking is great for students looking to stay up to date on current affairs and speak publically on a myriad of social, political, philosophical, economic, etc. issues.

Platform Speeches

Informative Speaking

(Platform Speech) An original, factual speech by the student on a realistic subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time is 10 minutes. Informative speaking is good for students looking to hone their research skills and public speaking skills.

Persusasive Speaking

(Platform Speech) An original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values, or actions of the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time is 10 min. Persuasive speaking is good for students who a particular issue that they would like to advocate for, and students looking to learn how to become good advocacy speakers.

Interpretation

Prose Interpretation

(Interpretation) An original or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Focus of this event is on the development of the narrative/story. Play cuttings and poetry are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction. Prose interpretation is good for students interested in the performance and analysis of literature.

Drama Interpretation

(Interpretation) A cutting that represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. The focus of this event is on the development of characterization. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 min. including introduction. Dramatic interpretation is great for students looking to hone their acting skills.

Dramatic Duo

(Interpretation) A cutting from one or more texts of literary merit, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. The material may be drawn from any genre of literature. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes, props, lighting, etc are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction. Dramatic due is good for two students who want to gain experience speaking as a team and impersonation/character development.

Program Oral Interpretation

(Interpretation) A program thematically linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose, poetry, and drama). A primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme through the use of narrative/story, language, and/or characterization. A substantial proportion of the total time must be devoted to each of the genres used in the program Different genres means the material must appear in separate pieces of literature (e.g., A poem included in a short story that appears only in that short story does not constitute a poetry genre). Only one selection may be original. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 min. including introduction. Program oral interpretation is good for students looking to work on public speaking skills, literary development,and impersonation/character development.

Poetry Interpretation

(Interpretation) A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. A primary focus of this event should be on the development of language. Play cuttings and prose works are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction. Poetry interpretation is great for students looking to hone their poetic performance and literary development.

Platform and Interpretation Speeches

After Dinner Speaking

(Platform and Interpretation Speech) An original, humorous speech by the student, designed to exhibit sound speech composition, thematic, coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills, and good taste. The speech should not resemble a nightclub act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 min. After dinner speaking is good for students who want to develop humorous interpretations on issues of social importance.

Communication Analysis

(Platform and Interpretation Speech) An original, humorous speech by the student, designed to exhibit sound speech composition, thematic, coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills, and good taste. The speech should not resemble a nightclub act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 min. After dinner speaking is good for students who want to develop humorous interpretations on issues of social importance.