Programs - The Academy of American Poets supports American poets and fosters the appreciation of contemporary poetry by producing Poets.org, Poem-a-Day. Series between poets and artists in other disciplines; the Blaney lecture on contemporary poetry and poetics; Poetry & the Creative Mind, a reading at Lincoln.
Students benefit from a wide variety of speech and debate events. To create standards for national competition, the National Speech & Debate Association has defined a number of main events, described below. These events are prevalent in the United States, and many states adopt the Association’s rules and guidelines for each event; however, the events offered, and the rules for each event, do vary from state to state. Please consult with your or a local contact for more information on event rules in your area. For additional information on the events our organization offers. About Commentary Extemp Commentary, often simply called Commentary, is an original 5-minute speech created as a result of a prompt such as a question, statement, or single word/short phrase. Topics for the prompt are drawn from historic, social, political, and popular contexts.
Students may access research brought with them to the tournament during the 20-minute preparation period. Research may take paper or electronic form. During preparation time, students review their files on the prompt selected and outline arguments that will be made throughout the speech. Students must present from a seated position and typically speak with a table or desk in front of them. The emphasis of Commentary is centered upon advocacy and argumentation. Much like a TV news commentary or editorial, students present an opinion or viewpoint which takes a position on the topic presented and defends that position with analysis and supporting material. The speech is presented from memory.
About Declamation Declamation is a public speaking event where students deliver a portion or portions of a speech previously delivered. The speech the student delivers can be any publicly delivered speech. Commencement addresses, historical speeches, political speeches, and celebrity speeches are common examples that students may use to select their declamation. Speeches are up to 10 minutes in length. As a result, students typically shorten the text of the speech to meet time requirements. The goal of a declamation is to convey a message with clarity, emotion, and persuasiveness. The event is not designed for students to mimic the original author of the speech.
Instead, speakers are to develop an oration that delivers the message of the author in an original and engaging manner. Dramatic Interpretation Using a play, short story, or other published work, students perform a selection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes in length. With a spotlight on character development and depth, this event focuses on the student’s ability to convey emotion through the use of a dramatic text. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. No props or costumes may be used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance, and state the title and the author. About Dramatic Interpretation Dramatic Interpretation, contrary to its name, is not all about drama.
While dramatic elements are key aspects of the event, melodramatic, or overly-sad selections are not ideal choices for performance. DI lacks props, costuming, sets, and other luxuries seen in various forms of performance art.
There is a set time limit of ten minutes, with a thirty second grace period. Students who choose to compete in Dramatic Interpretation should focus on suspending the disbelief of the audience by portraying a realistic, emotional journey of a character(s). The performance should connect to the audience.
Students who do Dramatic Interpretation may perform selections on topics of serious social subject matter such as coping with terminal illness; significant historical situations, events, and figures; as well as racial and gender discrimination, suppression, and oppression. Students should select pieces that are appropriate for them. Considerations for selecting a DI topic should include the student’s age, maturity, and school standards.
About Duo Interpretation Duo. The event everyone wants to do with a best friend. In truth, while the appeal of duo might be performing with a friend, this approach may not be best. Duo is about balance. Partners need to compliment one another stylistically, have a similar skill set and work ethic. Chemistry is an important element of duo, but chemistry outside of a practice/performance setting does not always translate to chemistry when practicing or performing at a tournament. Be sure to share your goals with your coach as they help you through the process of getting started in duo.
Duo is an event that can be dramatic, comedic, or a combination of the two. With a ten minute time cap, and a requirement of an off-stage focus, Duo is one of the most unique forms of performance. The main objective is to maintain a sense of balance between performers that focuses on the relationship(s) between the characters they create. About Expository Expository speaking is an informative speech that is five minutes long without the use of a visual aid (note: some tournaments permit the use of visual aids but at Nationals none are used). Students who participate in Expository provide unique and interesting information to the audience. An effective Expository introduces them to either a completely new topic or something new about a topic people may know a lot about. The speaker should provide unique insights and explore interesting implications.
At its core, Expository Speaking is an informative speech. Students doing Expository may cover topics ranging from an organization to a product, a process or concept. Humorous Interpretation Using a play, short story, or other published work, students perform a selection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes in length.
Humorous Interpretation is designed to test a student’s comedic skills through script analysis, delivery, timing, and character development. Competitors may portray one or multiple characters. No props or costumes may be used. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author. About Humorous Interpretation Humorous Interpretation, as its name indicates, is humorous.
Competitors often use multi-character selections to tell relatable stories using humor as a device to connect with the audience. Think about your favorite comedian’s latest stand up routine, or something funny that recently happened. Ask yourself why it’s funny. Then ask yourself if that joke would be funny to, say, your mom, or great-great Uncle Joe.
Humor is a complex human quirk. Each individual’s sense of humor is unique. However, other aspects of humor are more universal in nature. So, when choosing an HI, it is imperative to consider not only the humorous elements of the selection, but also to keep in mind how the story itself will appeal to the audience. Not everyone will laugh at the same joke, but if a character’s plight is relatable, the audience will identify with him or her. The Unusuals Vostfr Download Skype.
Humor in a Humorous Interpretation should be tasteful and motivated. About Informative Speaking Informative is a speech written by the student with the intent to inform the audience on a topic of significance. Informative gives students the unique opportunity to showcase their personality while educating the audience.
An Informative is not simply an essay about the topic — it is a well researched and organized presentation with evidence, logic and sometimes humor to convey a message. Topics are varied and interesting. Whether it be a new technological advance the audience is unaware of or a new take on a concept that everyone is familiar with, Informative is the students opportunity to teach the audience.
Types of topics and structure vary greatly. About International Extemp Extemporaneous Speaking, typically called extemp, is a speech on current events with limited preparation time.
A student’s understanding of important political, economic, and cultural issues is assessed along with critical thinking and analytical skills. Students report to a draw room (often referred to as extemp prep) where all of the extempers gather at tables, set out their files, and await their turn to draw topics. Students may access research brought with them to the tournament during the 30-minute preparation period. When prep time is up, the student reports to the competition room to deliver a 7 minute speech.
Students have a lot to do in 30 minutes—they must select a question, review research, outline arguments with supporting materials, and practice at least part of the speech before time expires. Many tournaments prohibit the consultation of notes during the speech in which case speech structure and evidence need to be memorized during prep time as well. About Original Oratory Original Oratory is a speech written by the student with the intent to inform or persuade the audience on a topic of significance. Oratory gives students the unique opportunity to showcase their voice and passion for their topic. An Oratory is not simply an essay about the topic—it is a well researched and organized presentation with evidence, logic, emotional appeals, and sometimes humor to convey a message. Topics may be of a value orientation and affect people at a personal level, such as avoiding peer pressure, or they can be more of a policy orientation and ask an audience to enact particular policies or solve societal problems.
The skills that I acquired from Oratory are skills most fundamental to the human condition. Oratory allowed me to advocate for what I believed in, in my words. It gave me the ability to tell my story from the stories and experiences of others. I learned the importance of organization, fact checking, word economy, along with innumerable other skills that form the foundation of great writing.
Competing in Oratory gave me a unique opportunity to venture into elements of other events. Storytelling, humor, drama, spontaneity, argumentation, and research are all elements that are actively applied in Oratory. It’s an event for anyone and everyone. Avi Jaggi NSDA Alum. Poetry (Middle School) Using a selection or selections of literature, students provide an oral interpretation of poetry. Poetry is characterized by writing that conveys ideas, experiences, and emotions through language and expression. Students may choose traditional poetry, often characterized by rhyme or rhythm, or nontraditional poetry, which often has a rhythmic flow but is not necessarily structured by formal meter (meter is a beat, pattern, or structure, such as iambic pentameter).
Students may not use prose, nor drama (plays) in this category. This event is seven minutes, including an introduction. About Poetry Poetry is characterized by writing that conveys ideas, experiences, and emotions through language and expression. Often Poetry is very creative in terms of vocabulary and composition. While Poetry may tell a story or develop a character, more often Poetry’s focus on language and form are designed to elicit critical thought, reflection, or emotion.
Students may choose what the National Speech & Debate Association refers to as traditional Poetry, which often has a formal meter or rhyme scheme, or nontraditional Poetry, which often has a rhythmic flow but lacks formal rhyme or meter (examples include spoken word or slam Poetry). Program Oral Interpretation Using selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a ten minute performance around a central theme. Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance.
A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection. About Progam Oral Interpretation Program Oral Interpretation relies on the performer’s ability to portray a wide range of characters and literature all held together under a common theme. Each program must contain at least two of the three genres and students are encouraged to include all three.
There is a set time limit of ten minutes, with a thirty second grace period. Students who choose to compete in POI should focus on making an interesting argument that is supported in different ways by each piece of literature they select. About Prose Prose is often classified as the “other” category of interpretation. It’s not poetry. It’s not drama. It’s not storytelling.
So what is prose? Prose combines multiple elements of oral interpretation of literature. Prose corresponds to usual patterns of speech — that which you would find most every day in a particular space and time (in contrast to poetic form and language). Prose typically has a narrative with its related rises and falls, much like Storytelling.
Prose may also feature character development and dialogue, much like Dramatic Interpretation. Prose may have humorous elements embedded, much like Humorous Interpretation.
In short, while many categories have specific interpretation focal points, Prose Interpretation is very wide open, and choices of material may vary from region to region or even tournament to tournament. About Storytelling Storytelling consists of sharing a story with an audience, performed as if the audience were a group of young children. The story must meet the theme of the tournament and not exceed five minutes.
Students may use a full range of movement to express themselves and may incorporate a chair in a variety of different ways. Students may be seated but most commonly performers use a full range of stage space available to them. As there are so many different types of stories that can be performed, it is important to observe rounds to see what other students and teams are using.
The Association has final rounds of Storytelling from both the high school and middle school level to review. Local and regional tournaments may vary in the selection of stories performed. About United States Extemp Extemporaneous Speaking, typically called extemp, is a speech on current events with limited preparation time. A student’s understanding of important political, economic, and cultural issues is assessed along with critical thinking and analytical skills. Students report to a draw room (often referred to as extemp prep) where all of the extempers gather at tables, set out their files, and await their turn to draw topics.
Students may access research brought with them to the tournament during the 30-minute preparation period. When prep time is up, the student reports to the competition room to deliver a 7 minute speech.
Students have a lot to do in 30 minutes—they must select a question, review research, outline arguments with supporting materials, and practice at least part of the speech before time expires. Many tournaments prohibit the consultation of notes during the speech in which case speech structure and evidence need to be memorized during prep time as well. About Policy Debate Policy debate is a two-on-two debate where an affirmative team proposes a plan and the negative team argues why that plan should not be adopted.
The topic for policy debate changes annually, so debaters throughout the course of the year will debate the same topic. One member of each team will perform the ‘first’ speeches, the other the ‘second’ speeches. So the person who reads the 1AC wil also perform the 1AR, for example. Note that the debate begins with the affirmative speaking first, and then switches midway through the debate where the negative speaks first, thus giving the affirmative the ability to speak last. Time Limits Speech Abbreviation Time Limit 1st Affirmative Constructive 1AC 8 minutes Negative Cross-Examination of Affirmative 3 minutes 1st Negative Constructive 1NC 8 minutes Affirmative Cross-Examination of Negative 3 minutes 2nd Affirmative Constructive 2AC 8 minutes Negative Cross-Examination of Affirmative 3 minutes 2nd Negative Constructive 2NC 8 minutes Affirmative Cross-Examination of Negative 3 minutes 1st Negative Rebuttal 1NR 5 minutes 1st Affirmative Rebuttal 1AR 5 minutes 2nd Negative Rebuttal 2NR 5 minutes 2nd Affirmative Rebuttal 2AR 5 minutes Prep Time (each team) 5 minutes. About Lincoln-Douglas Debate Lincoln-Douglas Debate typically appeals to individuals who like to debate, but prefer a one-on-one format as opposed to a team or group setting.
Additionally, individuals who enjoy LD like exploring questions of how society ought to be. Many people refer to LD Debate as a “values” debate, as questions of morality and justice are commonly examined. Students prepare cases and then engage in an exchange of cross-examinations and rebuttals in an attempt to convince a judge that s/he is the better debater in the round. Public Forum Debate Public Forum involves opposing teams of two, debating a topic concerning a current event. Proceeding a coin toss, the winners choose which side to debate (PRO or CON) or which speaker position they prefer (1st or 2nd), and the other team receives the remaining option.
Students present cases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and also participate in a “crossfire” (similar to a cross examination) with the opportunity to question the opposing team. Often times community members are recruited to judge this event.
About Public Forum Debate As a team event, students who compete in Public Forum need to be able to work well with a partner. Balanced teams, both in terms of preparation before debates and contributions within a debate, helps provide a competitive advantage during tournaments.
PF is the newest form of debate in the Association and looks at current event topics. Students who do Public Forum must be prepared to debate in front of judges without any formal debate training. Being able to persuade a range of judges is a central component to this event. Additionally, PF is focused upon debating varying resolutions that change frequently, which exposes students to a variety of topics during a singular competitive season. About Congressional Debate Congressional Debate is like a simulation of the real United States legislature. A group of 10-25 students, called a Chamber, will compete in a legislative session. A series of bills and resolutions will be proposed by students from various schools.
Students in turn will be selected by a presiding officer — a student elected to conduct the business of the round — to give speeches both advocating for and encouraging the defeat of the measure in front of them. Following each speech, competitors will be able to pose questions of the speaker. Once debate is exhausted on a particular item, the chamber will vote either to pass or fail the legislation, and debate moves on to the next item. Legislation comes in two types — a bill and a resolution. A bill is a plan of action, detailing how a particular policy proposal will be implemented. A resolution, meanwhile, is a statement expressing the opinion of the chamber. Typically, one session of Congress lasts about 2-3 hours.
During that time, students typically give speeches 3 minutes in length. The first two speeches on a piece of legislation are known as the first advocacy, or first pro, and the first rejection, or first con.
These speeches are followed by 2 minutes of cross examination. After the first pro and con speech are established, each additional speaker is subject to one minute of cross examination by the chamber. About Extemporaneous Debate Extemporaneous Debate is a supplemental event at the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Students compete in a one-on-one format with limited prep time to prepare for the topic they are to debate. Students present arguments and engage in rebuttals, however, unlike other common debate events, students debate a number of topics, as opposed to a single topic for the entire tournament. Each round students are presented a unique resolution. They are given a minimum of thirty minutes to prepare for the round.
The use of evidence is permitted, but not a focal point due to the limited time available to prepare a case for the round. Time Limits Speech Time Limit Purpose Proposition Constructive 2 minutes The debater in favor of the resolution presents his or her case/position in support of the topic. Cross Examination of Proposition 1 minute The opposition debater asks the proposition questions.
Opposition Constructive 2 minutes The debater against the resolution or the proposition’s case presents his or her case/position. Cross Examination of Opposition 1 minute The proposition debater asks the opposition questions. Mandatory Prep Time 1 minute Both debaters have one minute to prepare their rebuttals. Proposition Rebuttal 2 minutes The proposition debater refutes the main idea of the opposition and supports their main ideas. Opposition Rebuttal 2 minutes The opposition debater refutes the main idea of the proposition and supports their main ideas. Mandatory Prep Time 1 minute Both debaters have one minute to prepare their rebuttals. Proposition Rebuttal 2 minutes In this final speech the proposition crystallizes the round for the judge and tries to establish sufficient reason for a vote in favor of the resolution.
Opposition Rebuttal 2 minutes In this final speech the opposition crystallizes the round for the judge and tries to establish sufficient reason for a vote against the proposition’s case and/or the resolution. About World Schools Debate World Schools Debate is a three-on-three format. While a given team may consist of five members, only three students from a team participate in a given debate. Resolutions come in two types: prepared motions and impromptu motions. Teams will be assigned one of two sides in each round- either the government team proposing the motion or the opposition team advocating the rejection of the motion. Debaters present their position on a topic, refute their opponents, and respond to questions throughout the course of the debate.