Prepared Speech Rules

Instructions to Competitors and Judges
Prepared Speeches
The original speech must be written by the competitor and may be either informative or persuasive.
The speech must be memorized.
The presentation should be 5 to 7 minutes in duration. Competitors should allow for audience reaction in the timing
of their speech. The judges will take excess time into account in their scoring.
The speaker should engage the audience in a presentation which creates an impact or arouses interest in the subject
matter. This impact will depend on a combination of the speaker’s style of delivery and the content. As contestants
are being judged on their ability to speak in public, the presentation should be geared to a lay audience.
Presentation (40% of total)
Vocal delivery (20%)
Pronunciation, intonation, pitch, tone, projection, articulation and pace should be considered and employed
to convey the ideas, mood and argument of the speech. A persuasive presentation often requires a powerful,
emotive, or engaging tone, whereas an informative one may be delivered with more restraint.
Manner of speaking (20%)
The speaker should give the appearance of relaxed self-assurance and conviction. Movement, gesture and
facial expression should reinforce the vocal delivery.
Content (40% of total)
Originality / Evidence / Information (30%)
As the speech has been written by the contestant, what is said is as important as how it is said. The content
of the speech should demonstrate original thought, offer evidence, and provide information.
If visual aids are used, they should enhance the presentation and contribute to the audience’s understanding
of the speaker’s subject.
Organization (10%)
All speeches should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. The judges will take into consideration
whether the speech is introduced in an original fashion, how the subject matter is organized, and whether it
is brought to a logical conclusion.
Audience Response (20% of total)
Judges will consider the speaker’s effectiveness and persuasiveness in conveying the spirit of the text as
well as stimulating audience response, gauging audience reaction, and adapting accordingly.