The following is a list of the different types of events that MJC Speech and Debate students compete in. While some students choose to focus on certain categories of events (debate, platform, interp, limited prep), know that it is possible to learn about and compete in any combination of these events.
Informative Speaking: An original, factual speech by the student on a realist subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
Persuasive Speaking: An original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values or actions of the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Communication Analysis: An original speech by the student designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, campaign, etc., through the use of rhetorical principles. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Manuscripts are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
After Dinner Speaking: An original, humorous speech by the student, designed to exhibit sound speech composition, thematic, coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills, and good taste. The speech should not resemble a night club act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforced the message. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Prose Interpretation: An original or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Focus of this event is on the development of the narrative/story. Play cuttings and poetry are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.
Poetry Interpretation: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. A primary focus of this event should be on the development of language. Play cuttings and prose works are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Program Oral Interpretation: A program of thematically-linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose/poetry/drama). A primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme through the use of narrative/story, language, and/or characterization. A substantial portion of the total time must be devoted to each of the genres used in the program. Different genre means the material must appear in separate pieces of literature (e.g., A poem included in a short story that appears only in that short story does not constitute a poetry genre.) Only one selection may be original. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Drama Interpretation: A cutting that represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. The focus of this event is on the development of characterization. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Duo Interpretation: A cutting from one or more texts of literary merit, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. The material may be drawn from any genre of literature. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes, props, lighting, etc, are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Readers Theater: An interpretation of literature by a group of oral readers who act as a medium of expression for an audience. While Readers Theatre is both oral and visual, the emphasis is on the oral interpretation of the printed work and its resultant effects on the minds, emotions and imagination of the listeners/viewers. The audience should have feeling of unified whole in which each performer at all times contributes to the total effect desired. Theaters must have a minimum of three performers and a maximum of 14. The time limitation is 25 minutes with 2 minutes allowed for set-up and take-down.
Limited Preparation Speeches
Impromptu Speaking: An impromptu speech, substantive in nature, with topic selections varied by round and by section. Topics will be derived from quotations. Speakers will have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. Timing commences with the acceptance of the topics sheet. Limited notes are permitted.
Extemporaneous Speaking: Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current event, choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech that is the original work of the student. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Limited notes are permitted. Student will speak in listed order. Postings of topics will be staggered.
Parliamentary Debate: Parliamentary debate is an audience-centered form of two-person debate. In each debate, two students will represent the government side (or the side supporting the resolution), while two students will represent the opposition side (or the side negating the resolution). Students are expected to present arguments supporting their side while refuting arguments of the other team. Parliamentary debate is based loosely on the British model of parliament, with a bit of American academic debate style (such as the specific ‘flowing’ of arguments) thrown in.
NFA Lincoln-Douglas Debate: One person policy debate which examines the benefits versus the harms of a proposed government action. NFA LD was created in 1991 and is closer to high school policy debate and college CETA/NDT debate than to either high school LD or Parliamentary Debate. The primary differences, besides a one vs one person format, are a more conversational speaking style, shorter and fewer speeches, and a lower volume of evidence.
IPDA Debate: IPDA primarily utilizes a one-on-one, or individual, debate format in which one debater takes the side of the affirmative where they have the burden of advocating and proving the resolution. The other debater takes the side of the negative where they have the burden of refuting the affirmative’s case. For each round, the two debaters are given five possible resolutions. The negative begins the topic selection by striking one resolution, then the affirmative strikes one resolution. The negative strikes again. Thus, the affirmative has two resolutions to choose from. The affirmative then strikes one of the remaining resolutions, selecting the other as the topic for the round. After the topic has been selected, both debaters have thirty minutes to prepare a case.