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Forensics Event Descriptions

Speaking ​​​Event Categories

Oral Interpretation of Literature (Interp)

Platform Speaking (Plats)

Limited Preparation (Limited Prep)

Debate (IPDA, NPDA, or LD)

Oral interpretation of Literature (Interp)

The goal of this event is to explore how a speaker can move an audience with emotion. Speakers are required to perform an eight to ten minute presentation of literature. Competitors stand in one spot and read from a prepared manuscript (known as a “black book”). Students in this event must research and find a text which appeals to them and is approved by the coaching staff. The text is then edited to be most powerful and meet the time requirements of this event. Typical programs are first established with a teaser of the story, followed by and introduction of the literature, which includes an argument or reason for the following performance. A rule of thumb is that all literature performed must be widely available, not self authored.


Prose is the largest interp event. The literature for this event must be one of the following: a novel, short story, essay, non-fiction, biography, autobiography and/or periodicals. One should strive to find literature that will hold the audiences attention and take them on a roller coaster ride of emotion.


Poetry is exactly that, poetry. Ironically, the goal of interpretation of poetry is to break the rhythm and rhyme of the originally performed poem. It is very difficult to find poetry that meets the length requirement for this event. However, due to this, it is common to present two or more poems, which either complement or contrast one another.

Dramatic Interpretation (Drama or D.I.)

Drama (DI) is the performance of a play or screenplay. The burden of the dramatic interpretation is finding literature that has not been exhausted in performance. For instance, it is not wise to perform a piece from Hamlet unless you can offer a significant twist to the interpretation. Underground and independent films are a great source.

Programmed Oral Interpretation (P.O.I.)

P.O.I. is the combination of two or more of the preceding genres of literature. This program can either be woven together or presented in separate segments. Students have much more opportunity in this event to explore one particular theme from many different perspectives.


Duo is the only individual event compromised of two individuals. Students are to find a piece of drama and perform the literature together. Typically students search for a two character piece. There is much more latitude in regards to movement and the use of space in duo interp.

Readers Theatre (RT)

Readers theatre is a team event much like P.O.I. Three (or more) students collaborate on the creation and production of a twenty-five minute themed presentation. The goal of this event is to not only entertain the audience, but to also educate them. Past readers theatres have been about the right for children to grieve, multiple personality disorder and math. Limited costuming, lighting, sound and sets are allowed.

Platform Events (Plats) 

These events are what one typically thinks of when discussing public speaking. Students create and deliver an eight to ten minute speech. The use of visual aids is allowed and encouraged. Winning platform events are typically about cutting edge information, technology and social concerns.

Informative (INFO)

Informative speeches are the teaching speeches. Students are encouraged to find topics about new medical breakthroughs, technological advances, or a growing social concern. Students must research and include a minimum of ten source cites in each speech. The use of V/As are highly encouraged in this event. As the semester progresses, the speech must be kept current and revised.

Persuasive (PERS)

Persuasive speeches are concerned with changing the audiences’ behavior. While, it is necessary and worthwhile to explore attitude and belief changes, winning persuasions are typically those that we can immediately do. Persuasive speech topics should be selected on the basis of large audience and practical solution. Winning topics in the past have been: turn on your headlights during the day, prevent child death from window falls, and obey school safety zones.

Communication Analysis (CA)

This event is perhaps the most fascinating and least glamorous of all individual events. In this speech, the student is to explain how a particular communication phenomena has been effective. Students explore these possibilities with the tools of rhetorical criticism. Typically, a speech will explore a communication event with use of an established rhetorical model. Speeches in the past have been about Harry Potter, The United Colors of Benniton ads, and the use of masks.

Speech To Entertain (S.T.E.) Or After Dinner Speech (A.D.S.)

Speeches to entertain are created for the sole purpose of laughter. Winning speeches to entertain teach the audience something in between the laughs. It is a light hearted way to express social commentary. This event is like a special episode of Clueless, in between the laughs, we learn about ourselves.

Limited Preparation Speaking Events


Perhaps the scariest and most worthwhile event is impromptu speaking. Speakers are given two minutes to prepare a five minute speech. Topics range from traditional proverbs to fortune cookies, from great quotations to toys. This event, while seemingly unprepared, requires a great deal of preparation and practice. Students on this squad will do impromptu speaking at least once, so as to understand the value and pressure of being able to speak in an organized manner at the drop of hat. All squad members will be asked to collaborate on notebooks.

Extemporaneous (Extemp)

Speakers in this event have thirty minutes to prepare a seven minute speech on a current event. All squad members will be responsible for the creation and maintenance of the “extemp tubs”. All parliamentary debaters will be required to do extemp. This activity will make students more socially and politically aware, as well as more knowledgeable when at a cocktail party.


IPDA (International Public Debate Association)

IPDA is a one-on-one debate where competitors have a chance to select their topics from a shortlist of topics provided by the tournament. This format embraces the art of speaking to a layperson, or a judge who is not a debater. Delivery, organization, clarity, and digestible arguments are the foundation of the IPDA style of debate.

Parliamentary Debate (Parli)

Parli debate is fun, dynamic, and never the same. Two person teams attempt to win the speaker of the house’s ballot by providing the most effective, strategic, knowledgeable, and/or humorous debate. Teams are given fifteen minutes to prepare a defense or mount an attack on a given topic. All squad members will be required to sit in the audience of final rounds of parliamentary debate. Debaters must strive to increase knowledge in all realms of education, including but not limited to: philosophy, religion, politics, sociology, psychology, ontology, geography, current events, sarcasm, and humility. This team is destined to rule Parli debate!!!!

Lincoln Douglas (LD)

LD is a one-on-one debate format where one topic is debated for the entire year. Competitors compile research and develop their cases throughout the year. This event is great for students who want to dig deep on a topic and learn about the technical intricacies of high-level debate.