Duo Interpretation*: Duo Interpretation is performance for exactly two people. Lines are spoken from memory using offstage focus. Emphasis is on the development of character and appropriate physical movement. (10 min.)
Farrago***: "Farrago" includes material from a variety of literary genre (poetry, short stories, speeches, essays, drama, novels) which address a central specific theme or emotion which are interpreted through oral presentation. Quality material is expected. Selections are to be read from a manuscript. Nationally, this category is known as Program of Oral Interpretation. (10 min.)
Group Interpretive Reading: This category presents a literary script by 2-5 participants in such manner that the audience imagines action being described rather than witnessing it being performed or acting. Onstage focus (direct eye contact) and physical interaction (touching) is prohibited. The material may be a cutting, complete work or group of works compiled from prose, poetry, or essays, but not drama (i.e., plays, screenplays and monologues). (12 min.)
Oral Interpretation of Literature**: The student prepares two programs of literature, one following the guidelines of Prose; the other of Poetry, to be performed in alternating rounds of competition. This category is for the student who wants to expand his/her performance of literature. (10 min)
Play Acting: Play acting is a scene or cutting from one play by a group of two to five participants. Lines are spoken from memory and participants must move as they would in a fully produced play. The scene selected for presentation must be presented without costumes, makeup, lights, or properties other than an available table (or desk as a substitute) and chairs if required. Hand props, music, electronic sound effects; and costumes are not permitted. Physical actions are pantomimed. (12 min.)
Poetry: The contestant should choose a poem or group of poems centering on a specific theme or emotion. Original material is allowed. The contestant must read their selection(s) from a manuscript. (8 min.)
Prose: A selection from prose literature, including short stories, cutting from novels, essays or non-fiction work centering on a specific theme or emotion is to be read. Original material is allowed. The contestant must read their selection(s) from a manuscript. (8 min.)
Solo Acting Serious (Dramatic Interp)*: A cutting from drama or other literature adapted to a serious dramatic format, with brief transitions allowed. Original material may not be used. Tables, chairs and other props and costumes are prohibited. (10 min.)
Solo Acting Humorous (Humorous Interp)*: A cutting from drama or other literature adapted to a humorous dramatic format, with brief transitions allowed. Original material may not be used. Tables, chairs and other props and costumes are prohibited. (10 min.)
Storytelling: Students prepare four different stories on four different topics and deliver a different story during each round. The storyteller must sit in a chair, and may use vocal variation and movement to illustrate details of the story. Original material is allowed, and notes are not permitted. (8 min.)
The 2017-18 stories are: a story about outer space; a story from an indigenous culture; a story about something that is lost and/or found; a nautical story.
Public Forum Debate*
Debaters compete in pairs. A resolution is announced the first of each month. Debaters prepare pro and con sides of the resolution. At the start of the round, a coin flip determines the side you'll argue and speaker order. Each round follows a set format and lasts approximately 50 minutes.
Original Speech Events:
Demonstration Speaking: The speech is instructive and presents valuable and significant information on how to do something or how something works by exhibiting objects or physical activity. (10 min.)
Informative Speaking: This speech includes well-developed material, which has the primary intent of informing, although persuasive elements may be present. The speech is to be coherent, unified, and clear. A range of support materials should be used which can include quotations, statistics, examples, comparisons, and analogies. (6 min.)
Moments in History: The speaker selects an historical topic within the limits of the specified time period. Students are encouraged to use primary sources, (archival records, diaries, personal interviews and letters) and secondary sources, (academic journals, newspapers and books). The speaker uses this research information to compose and present a well-organized, informative speech. Visual materials may be used, but not worn. (6 min.)
The 2017-18 time periods are 1801-1840 or the 1930's
Oratory*: A thoroughly prepared, well-composed, well-expressed persuasive speech on a significant topic. Clear, vivid, and forceful language and appropriate stylistic devices, such as metaphor, comparison/ contrast, irony, etc. characterize a good oration. (10 min.)
Special Occasion: The student must choose one of four situations and write and deliver a speech to that hypothetical situation and audience. (6 min.)
The 2017-18 occasions are:
a resignation speech, a hall of fame induction speech, a pep talk from a coach, a tribute to the life of an ancestor.
Limited Prep Events (30 minutes to prepare!):
Extemporaneous Speaking*: The speaker chooses one of five current events topics each round and has 30 minutes to prepare a well-organized speech, where a clear answer to the topic is phrased and supported with evidence and reasoning. Use of computers for preparation is permitted (no internet connectivity). (7 min.)
Radio Announcing: The radio broadcaster must present an extremely well organized, clearly communicated news broadcast. Source material is provided for each round at a meet, and must be prepared within 30 minutes and edited to a length of exactly 5 minutes. At least one commercial (included with the source material) must be included.
Impromptu: The speaker chooses one of three prompts, which could be quotes, phrases, ideas, etc., and has five minutes to compose and finish delivering a speech. No outside resources may be consulted. (5 min.)
National categories, not typically offered in Wisconsin:
Informative Speaking***: This speech is intended to inform and educate the audience on a well-researched topic of relevance and high interest. Visual aids are allowed. Informative Speaking is a main event at the NSDA National Speech and Debate Tournament. (10 min.)
Oratorical Declamation**: The speaker presents a speech once delivered publicly by someone else, with the addition of an original introduction that gives the original author and context. This event is limited to 9th and 10th graders only. (8 min.)
Also known as congressional debate. Competitors write legislation that is researched and debated in a congressional session. Competitions are normally held during the forensics season on Friday evenings prior to speech tournaments.
*National category in NSDA and NCFL
**National category in NCFL only
***National category in NSDA only
**National category in NCFL only
***National category in NSDA only