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While debate is focused on presenting ideas through logic and reason, Speech does this a bit differently. Split into three categories: Public Speaking, Limited Prep, and Interpretation; Speech is all about presenting ideas through our voice, our actions, our dialogue.

Now that sounds really cliché, but Speech is actually a whole lot of fun to watch and to compete in. These are the Interpretation events!


Humorous Interpretation (HI) – 10-minute piece that focuses on telling a story about wild characters, crazy situations, and strives to make the audience die of laughter. Your HI piece will be a 10-minute rendition of any work that has an ISBN number. It can be a book, movie script, or play, as long as the script is purchased legally. You can switch out a maximum of 100 words, and the piece must include an introduction after a brief teaser.


Dramatic Interpretation (DI) – a piece (also 10 minutes) that follows the journey of a person as they encounter . . . well . . . dramatic events in their life (cancer, miscarriage, death, the Great Depression, obesity, etc.). The story takes on an issue that is relevant to society and takes a stance through storytelling. Your DI piece will be a 10-minute rendition of any work that has an ISBN number. It can be a book, movie script, or play, as long as the script is purchased legally. You can switch out a maximum of 100 words, and the piece must include an introduction after a brief teaser.


Duo Interp (DUO) – a piece (10 minutes) performed by two people that cannot a) look at each other or b) touch each other in any way. This feat of pantomime and blocking can be funny, serious, or someplace in between. Again, like HI and DI, the piece must come from a legally-purchased work with an ISBN number, will include a brief introduction, and may have up to 100 changed words from the original work.


Prose Interp – a piece (10 minutes) that is the middle ground between Drama and Humor. This event is really what you make of it. As always the focus is on conveying a message or moral through your performance, but as an added bonus, you can perform with your script and use it as a prop. This prop is known as a black book, and your script is pasted onto black sheets for you to use in the performance.


Poetry Interp – a piece (10 minutes) that is made up of many (3-6) different poems by different poets that revolve around a central issue (e.g. strong black women, childhood, humanity’s loss of compassion, Justin Bieber, paper, etc.). The poems are spliced together and the piece is performed with a black book (your script) in hand just like Prose Interpretation.


Duet Act – a piece (10 minutes) in which two people act out a single scene. They can touch, look at one another, and are provided with a table and four chairs. An acting challenge that is the completely inverse of Duo Interp, Acting is open to all kinds of material: sad, funny, mystery, family drama, whatever you feel like doing!

These are the Limited Prep events:

Impromptu – a 5-minute speech that you make-up on the spot (the round includes 2 minutes of preparation) on any one of three given topics that change every round. A riveting and open-ended event that gives you that chance you’ve always wanted to talk about kickball, Where the Wild Things Are, inspiring quotes by French people, made-up cereals, 3-D movies, and more!


Extemporaneous Speaking – This is the probably most debate-esque Speech event. You are given a political question along the lines of “What will be the Greatest Threat to the Global Economy within the Next Ten Years?” or “What was the Significance of Social Media during the Arab Spring?” and half an hour to come up with an answer to it. Your answer will be performed as a 7 minute speech with cited research and distinct points.

These are the Public Address events:

Oratory – a speech (10 minutes) that is a speech written solely by you about an important topic you want to talk about whether it be perfection, building things that last, intuition, or the exploitation of our nation’s youth by the media. Oratory is the most open-ended event in which you can tell the jokes you think are funny, talk about things you think are important, and perform the piece as you in all your glory. In the Oratory speech, you must present solutions to the problem you sought out.


Expository Speaking – an informative speech (10 minutes) in which the speaker teaches the audience about the topic of your choosing. Exposes are also completely written and prepared by you. This is really an event for creative types since you will use several presentation boards as props. They are often entirely humorous and can be about topics as mundane or epic as you think necessary (e.g. birds, the History of Food Network, a dramatized history of the elevator, how terrible it is to be short, or even awkward pauses . . . ).


With so many events to try out and choose from, there really is a place for everyone in Speech. Our Interpretation break-off takes place on Wednesday after the general meeting in E117 until 4:00. Limited Prep meets on Tuesday after school in E117, and Public Address meets on Thursdays in H111 until 3:30. If you have any more questions about Speech events feel free to contact any of our Varsity members, visit our FAQ section, or post in the Speech forum! 


Interp Lecture–

1 – Choosing an Event

2 – That “Perfect” Piece



Here is where I’ll post any awesome Speech videos or links. E-mail Allison or Feona ( if you have any suggestions for this page.



-      Fat Kids on Fire ( ) a heart-warming piece by a back-to-back national champion about adventures at fat camp.

-      Rinse the Blood Off My Toga ( a hilarious national champion that really milks pauses for all they are worth.

-      Chicken ( JOSH AIKEN! A truly “Aww!” worthy story, a pitch-perfect intro, and very distinctive characterization.



-      The Property Known as Garland ( a very real piece that never succumbs to cheap drama (e.g. Cancer) and fights for the viability of autobiographies working well as Dramas.

-      Jails, Hospitals, and Hip Hop ( a conversational piece that shows how to build into a very intense but believable climax.

-      Family Secrets ( ) a great example about how a great a Drama can be with a happy ending (moral of the story . . . terrible sadness does not always equal a successful drama). Fun fact: Amber Justmann was in the Arizona Circuit, you’ll see her school (DV) at our tournaments this year.

-      Barrymore ( another successful autobiography Drama.



-      The Wizard of Hip ( an incredibly epic piece that combines and jokes into one amazing story.

-      Because I Wanted to Say ( a real lesson in acting naturally and withholding important information until the climax.



-      Miles Bridges ( a speech with great humor and utilization of a non-cliché topic.  

Coming Soon...

This section will be updated after every tournament. Check back here often to follow your fellow Huskies!


Will Speech eat my life? D:

            Simple Answer: Probably not.

Longer Answer: Speech may seem incredibly time-consuming when you start (“what do you mean I have to find a piece, cut it, and memorize it before my first tournament?!), but the workload is actually much lighter than it seems. For Interp and Public Speaking events, all of the labor is at the front of the year. Once you find a piece and get it tournament-ready, you will just have to make minor tweaks to it for the rest of the year. For limited prep events, success will come with how much work you put in. You can always practice at home or with friends if you want to get better, but in no way will it eat your life. Lim. Preppers only have one required meeting a week (Thursdays 2:20-4).  We also have a large and involved Varsity population this year that will come along side you every step of the way, so you don’t have to do this incredible thing called speech on your own!


I can’t choose an event!!

            I would check out the first lecture on the lecture tab or watch some videos on the Check This Out! tab to get more of a feel for each event. Remember, you aren’t signing a life contract to that event. You will always be allowed to double-enter or switch to another if you decide that your first pick isn’t the event for you.


Why do we play so many games during Speech meetings?

            Good question! We do warm-ups at the beginning of every meeting for a couple of reasons: 1. It understandably warms people up. After a day of school most people will often be a little tired and not energetic enough to effectively practice for Speech. 2. It builds a sense of team. A good team, one that isn’t afraid to be crazy in front of one another, will feel less nervous when they have to critique or perform for one another. 3. It helps people to leave their shells at the door.


What should I do if I think speech sounds really cool, but I’m painfully shy?

            I say go for it! When I was a freshman, I had never acted before, spoke in front of a crowd (other than to present a book report), and every other word out of my mouth was “um” or “like.”  Speech helped me to become more outgoing, coherent, and reduced my fear of speaking in front of others. Also, our speech team is incredible welcoming and loves to work with novices (especially if they are as humble and open to help as you sound). We’d be glad to have you on our team!


DB8 4 LyfE!!!1!!

            Haha! I agree! :D In addition to Speech, I also debate LD. They are definitely compatible and doing Speech has definitely made a giant impact on me as a debater. Our team is really cool because we encourage everyone to try both sides of the S&D spectrum. If you’re a Speech kid, never be afraid to try a little PF or LD here and there. If you’re a debater, never underestimate the value of learning how to speak persuasively and clearly when it comes to winning rounds. I always recommend Impromptu, Radio, Oratory, and Extemp to debaters because the skills you learn through these events are so applicable to debating (that and double-entering makes tournaments even more fun!).


Who is Josh Aiken? You guys mention him in like every meeting.

            Josh Aiken was the President of our team two years ago when Lindsay and I were freshman. We talk about him so much because not only would he win every event he entered as well as get tons of bids to Nationals and NIETOC, he is just a generally awesome person. He really helped all of our team as much as he could whenever he could. You can watch him in the finals of Humor at NIETOC through our Check This Out! tab.


Are you secretly judging me?



Can I join Speech?

            YES! :D


How do I join Speech?

            If you’re aren’t an official member of S&D yet, feel free to come by H118 to visit, ask questions, and get a feel for the team (say hi to Lizzy, the one with a lot of hair, and she’ll explain things). Then you can get a Contract and Drug Testing Form to sign. Turn those in along with the $50 due and you’re all set! If you are a member already, just come by on the Wednesday or Thursday break-off and jump into whichever group you’re thinking about joining.


Why do we have to pay $50 a semester to join?

            The dues are actually a fantastic deal. The average individual dues on the circuit are around $200-250 and at DV they are over $800. The money you pay pays for your participation in all 10 tournaments, buys you a t-shirt, pays for buses to every tournament (even ones in Downtown Phoenix), buys black-books, buys expose boards, funds performance night, fills a scholarship fund, pays judging fees (so we don’t have to drop kids from tournaments), and pays for your NFL membership. This money, although it may seem like a lot at first, is spent very prudently and carefully by your officers to pay for a ton of things. In summary, we’re spending it on YOU . . . not hot tubs.


When and where do we meet?

            We meet after the general meeting in H118 until about 4 and on Thursdays until 4 in H118 also. The Speech Class meets in H118 every day, so you can always arrange for extra practice time or critiques when you feel the need.


I have a question about ___________ and it wasn’t answered here.

            Feel free to ask it at a meeting, email it to either Lizzy or your event lead, or post it in the forum. Don’t be afraid to ask it because chances are someone else can’t sleep at night because they’re worrying about that question too. If it’s a particularly interesting or important question, we’ll answer it here in the FAQ.

Judging Speech Events

Judging Extemporaneous Speaking

Judging Interp Events

Judging Original Oratory