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The competitive Speech program is one of the most rewarding and beneficial educational activities available to students. As students compete in high school speech, they find that their skills in researching, writing, critical thinking, presentation, time management, and interpersonal communication dramatically improve. Speech participation helps students gain valuable skills, while developing confidence, not only in front of an audience, but in interpersonal communication as well. Speech sharpens a student's ability to think and listen critically, as well as articulate their thoughts confidently and persuasively.

Speech Categories

Creative Expression
Creative Expression is the performance of material written by the contestant.  The work may be serious or humorous in nature.  Artistry and emotional value of the writing is key.  Time:  10 minutes

Discussion is an effort on the part of a small group to research a solution to a problem through an interchange of facts, inferences, and judgements.  Knowledge of the season’s topic is key.  Time:  60 minutes

Duo Interpretation features two students interpreting together a serious and/or humorous selection.  No eye contact or physical contact is allowed during the performance, except for the introduction.  Time:  10 minutes

Extemporaneous Reading
In Ex. Reading, contestants draw to determine the selection they will be presenting.  During the performance, Ex. Readers read directly out of their book.  Interpretation and expression is key.  Time:  7 minutes

Extemporaneous Speaking
In Ex. Speaking, contestants draw to determine the topic they will be presenting.  In often a three-point format, speakers will identify issues and find solutions to foreign or domestic problems.  Time:  7 minutes

Great Speeches
In Great Speeches, contestants pick a “great speech” in history and thoroughly analyze it.  Students use rhetorical models and original content to justify the importance of their speech.  Time:  10 minutes

Humorous Interpretation requires comedic energy and timing.  Contestants pick a published work to interpret.  The speech should amuse and engage listeners through fun vocal and body expression.  Time:  10 minutes

Informative Speaking is intended to inform an audience on a topic selected by the contestant.  Students create original works.  Inform is the only category where visual aids are allowed.  Time:  10 minutes     

In Dramatic Interpretation, contestants select works from a published play to interpret.  Serious in nature, these pieces portray heightened emotional or climactic moments in life.  Time:  10 minutes

In Poetry, contestants choose serious poems from published works, sometimes a “program” of poems.  The ability to interpret meaning and honest emotion through facial and body expression is key.  Time:  10 minutes

Serious Prose Interpretation uses prose selections (writing in paragraph form) cut from a book or story.  Believable delivery, emotion, and expression are elements of a polished performance.  Time:  10 minutes

Original Oratory
In Original Oratory, contestants present an original persuasive composition intended to change views or attitudes of the listener.  High level thinking and original (or contemporary) ideas are key.  Time:  10 minutes 

In Storytelling, contestants draw to determine the story they will be presenting.  After a 30-minute preparation time, storytellers narrate and interpret original characters to tell their story. 

Reminders to students:

  • Please be polite and be sure to contact your coach if you cannot make it to a scheduled practice.
  • It is imperative that you practice with a coach before each tournament. Your goal should be to become the best speaker you can be. And as a member of the Park Rapids Speech Team, you should want to represent your school and yourself well.
  • You MUST contact a coach if you have an emergency on a Saturday morning (or Thursday for junior high meets) and cannot attend the tournament. (See the bus schedule contact person.) IF you do not contact a coach and do not catch the bus to the contest, you should be required to reimburse the school $20.00. With this money your registration fee and part of the cost of a judge will be paid. PLEASE COMMUNICATE WELL!