Hamilton High School
327 Fairgrounds Road
Hamilton, MT 59840
(406) 375-6060


Montana Forensic Educators Association
Speech, Drama and Debate
Judges’ Handbook


Judging Speech Events

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Original Oratory
Memorized Public Address
Expository Speaking
Impromptu Speaking
Extemporaneous Speaking
Humorous Oral Interpretation (HOI)
Serious Oral Interpretation (SOI)
Duo Interpretation

1. Eye contact is important -- They should look at their audience at least part of the time, depending upon the event.

2. Diction-- Unless the speech is one requiring a dialect, the speaker’s diction should be precise and distinct.

3. Acting is not part of speaking--This is not to preclude dramatic statements or methods of presentation.

4. Time Limit--If a student goes over the time limit, do not change his/her ranking but just note the time on the ballot. Most events have a 10 minute time limit. Students will set their timers to 1 sec over time allowed (ex: 10:01)

NOTE--two events have minimum and maximum time limits.
They are IMPROMPTU and EXTEMPORANEOUS.

5. Presentation-- Judge the presentation by the contestant and not whether you agree or disagree with the position taken by the contestant.

6. No Conferring--If there is more than one judge in the room, please do not confer. Mark your own ballot without any consultation.

 NO ORAL CRITICISM

RETURN RANKING SHEET AT ONCE

(Complete comment sheets in Judge’s room)

JUDGES, PLEASE ADVISE PERSON AT JUDGE’S TABLE IF FRIENDS OR RELATIVES
ARE COMPETING IN THE ROUND YOU’RE ASKED TO JUDGE

THERE ARE THREE JUDGES IN THE SEMI AND FINALS ROUNDS - WAIT UNTIL ALL ARE PRESENT TO BEGIN!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUDGING HINTS SPECIFIC TO THE EVENTS

ORIGINAL ORATORY

Since these orations have been written by the contestant delivering them, the judges should consider thought, composition and delivery.

Orators are to be given wide latitude in their choice of topic and style. They need not solve any of the great problems of the day. They may simply alert the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen their devotion to a cause or eulogize a person.

Compositions should be considered carefully. Use of English should be more than correct: It should reveal a discriminating choice of words and altogether fine literary qualities.

Delivery should be judged for mastery of the usual mechanics of speech--poise, quality and use of voice, bodily expressiveness and for the qualities or directness and sincerity.

MEMORIZED PUBLIC ADDRESS WITH ANALYSIS (MPA)

This contest is comprised of orations delivered at some other time and place by their authors. The test of the present orator therefore is the ability to reproduce not only the words, but also analysis of the author’s purpose and intention in delivering the speech. It is his/her responsibility to show the judge why the speech he/she has chosen is a significant one.

The speaker must include with his/her speech an analysis of the historical background, the author’s background and purpose in giving the speech and the development of the message presented.

The mechanics of speech must be observed faithfully---poise, quality and use of voice, effectiveness and ease of gestures, emphasis, variety and enunciation. In addition, the contestant must be able to interpret the full meaning of the oration and be able to carry the interpretation over to the minds of those who hear him/her.

EXPOSITORY SPEAKING (EXPOS)

The expository speech should instruct, demonstrate or enlighten. Subject matter should be informative. Students have written the speeches they present, therefore it is appropriate to consider such items as writing style and use of language.

A good Expository speech will contain all the elements of good public speaking including poise, voice variation, gestures and movement, fluency and facial expression. Although most of the speeches will be memorized, students are permitted to use notes or a manuscript in the event.

Visual aids are optional in Expository speaking. A contestant should not be penalized for not using them. However, if a student elects to use visual aids, it is fair to evaluate their quality and how well they are used.

IMPROMPTU SPEAKING

Impromptu speaking is a test of a student’s ability to analyze and organize information and of his/her speaking ability. The topics are quotations/cartoons that show the author’s specific ideas on cultural, moral or social issues.

The speaker should analyze logically the specific intent of the topic and use general knowledge to support his/her conclusions. The speaker should follow a logical plan in developing the speech, utilizing an effective introduction, body and conclusion. The speaker should demonstrate fluent voice control, grammatical structure and precise vocabulary. Appropriate gestures, facial expression, eye contact, body movement and poise should enhance the presentation.

When all the speakers have assembled (unless the speakers on which you are waiting are double entered), send all but the first speaker out of the room. Give the first speaker a copy of the impromptu topic. Do not allow any contestants who have spoken (unless double entered) or student observers to leave the room before the end of the round.

Time is a very important element of Impromptu speaking. 3 minutes of prep time is allowed prior to speaking time. The maximum time allowed for speaking is 5 minutes. (Timer will be set to 5:01 and count down)

EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING (EXTEMP)

Contestants in this event are given 30 minutes to prepare a speech on an item of current national or international importance. It is important, therefore, that the contestant should be held to strict adherence to the precise statement of the topic drawn and should be severely discounted for shifting to some other phase of the assigned topic on which he/she would like to speak. EACH contestant must submit his/her topic to the judge.

The best EXTEMPORANEOUS speech is well-organized, interesting and factually correct. The speaker should demonstrate all the elements of good speaking including poise, voice variation, gestures, movement, fluency and facial expression. The extemporaneous speech should be an original synthesis of current facts and opinion on the designated topic as presented by numerous sources.

If a contestant wishes to use notes, he/she may use one side of a 4X6 note card. These notes must be submitted at the end of the speech and turned in with the ballot.

Time is a very important element of Extemporaneous speaking. For this reason, a contestant must have his/her full 30 minutes to prepare.

During the final round, one student will be in the room to observe and at the conclusion of the speech, pose a question to the contestant of not more than one minute in length. The contestant will then have two minutes to answer the question.

ORAL INTERPRETATION OF LITERATURE

(Humorous Oral Interpretation---HOI) (Serious Oral Interpretation--- SOI)

Each speaker shall read 1 or more pieces of literature. If the contestant chooses to read more than one selection, the selections must have a common theme. These selections must include at least 2 of the following kinds of literature: Prose, Poetry, or Drama. The relationship between the selections must be indicated by the speaker and may be read, memorized and/or extemporized. If the speaker chooses to read one selection only, he/she must identify the theme of the piece.

Manuscripts MUST be held in hand, and the material must be read and not memorized. Original material included to explain the relationship between pieces may be read, memorized and/or extemporized. Hand gestures are NOT allowed. Speakers may take steps between selections otherwise the speakers feet must be stationary during delivery. Remember, you are not judging the author, rather you are judging the quality of the performance. Consider poise, voice variation and use, facial expression and the ability to make the material come to life. SINGING IS NOT ALLOWED.

 

DUO INTERPRETATION OF LITERATURE (DUO INTERP)

Two people interpret one or more pieces of literature. Author(s) and title(s) should be clearly annotated in the introduction.  As opposed to solo interpretation, the piece is usually memorized.  Only very brief transitions between pieces or between parts of the original work may be added for clarity's sake.  Original lines for any other reason are strictly discouraged.  Any genre of literature may be used—poetry, plays and books—but the material should be acceptable to all audiences.

Memorization is encouraged, but not required.  Nonetheless, a "polished" duo is definitely memorized, and that is the goal. Therefore, hands are free to gesture and need not hold a manuscript.

The competitors may move in a confined area with an approximate four-foot radius.  Movement is usually used as a type of blocking or to establish new characters.

The two competitors may NOT look at each other or touch each other during the presentation of the piece.  Competitors usually look straight forward into the "fourth wall" to "look at" the other character.

Singing is allowed, but if it is not written into the original work, it should be confined to the introduction or done without words.

No costumes or props are allowed.  Occasional miming of hand props for the purposes of characterization is accepted.

Each competitor may take the part of one or more character(s), and characterization is encouraged in voice, facial expression, body position, movement, etc. Consider poise, voice variation, facial expression and the ability to make the material come to life.

The time limit is 10 minutes.