Forensics Team Events

Interpretation Events

(i.e. dramatic readings where the performer holds a script and uses suggested, rather than fully realized, performance choices)

  • Dramatic Interpretation: One or more selections of dramatic literature (plays, screenplays) by any author(s) from any period are used in a 10-minute program. If two or more selections are used, they should be developed around a central theme.
  • Poetry Interpretation: One or more poetry selections by any author(s) from any period are used in a 10-minute program. If two or more selections are used, they should be developed around a central theme.
  • Prose Interpretation: One or more prose selections (novels, short stories, etc.) by any author(s) from any period. If two or more selections are used, they should be developed around a central theme.
  • Program Oral Interpretation: A thematic program made up of two or more selections from two or more literary genres (i.e. prose, poetry, drama). The 10-minute presentation should include an appropriate introduction and, if necessary, transitions.
  • Duo Interpretation: This 10-minute event consists of a team of two persons who perform a two-person version of a prose, dramatic interpretation, or program oral interpretation. Any genre of literature is permitted and the contestants may play two or more characters.
  • Interpreters Theater: The interpretation of a piece or pieces of literature by a group of three or more oral readers who act as a medium of expression for an audience. All types of literature (poetry, prose and/or drama) may be employed. The 25 minute presentation usually remains in the realm of suggestion and stimulates the audience's imagination. Movement is used liberally.


Platform Events

(i.e. public speaking, like you might do in a speech class)

  • Persuasive Speaking: The purpose of this 10-minute event is to convince, stimulate, or actuate the audience concerning some significant issue.
  • Informative Speaking: The purpose is to describe, clarify, define or explain an object, idea, concept or process.
  • Speech To Entertain: The primary purpose of this 10-minute presentation is to entertain. However, as in any speech, there must be a central purpose, theme or thesis around which the speech is developed.
  • Communication Analysis: The subject may be a single speech, a single speaker, the rhetoric of a movement, or any other legitimate communication event. The speaker then analyzes in a 10-minute speech the impact of the subject using communication theory found in a journal article or the like.

Limited Preparation Events

(i.e. speaking on a moment's notice)

  • Impromptu Speaking: Topics are of a philosophical nature, usually consisting of a single word, a quotation or similar. The contestant selects one of three topics drawn and then has a total of seven minutes to prepare and present the speech.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: The contestant is given a choice of three topics concerned with national, international, or economic current events occurring within the previous 90 days. They then choose a topic and have 30 minutes to develop a seven-minute speech. Contestants are allowed to use print materials they have brought with them to the tournament.

Debate Events

(i.e. creating argumentation and speaking at moment’s notice)

  • IPDA (International Public Debate Association) Debate: This debate style involves a one-on-one debate. The two debaters choose from a list of 3 or 5 topics that involve topics of fact, value, or policy nature and are then given 30 minutes prepare. In IPDA, debaters are allowed to use documented evidence found on the internet within the 30 minutes to formulate their arguments and defend their given position on the debate topic. Debates last a total of 26 minutes, alternating between debaters.
  • Parliamentary Debate: Teams of two choose from a list of 3 or 5 topics of fact, value, or policy nature 15 minutes before the debate is to happen. They then formulate arguments and prepare to defend their given side of the debate. While parliamentary debaters are not allowed to use documented evidence, they can use examples and knowledge afforded to any college student to support their arguments. Debates last a total 40 minutes, alternating between speakers and teams. 


Contact Information

Kacy Abeln Stevens, Director of Forensics
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2E07K
Phone: (630) 942-2175