Original Oratory

  • What is Original Oratory? (from NSDA) National Champion '16

    Original Oratory

    Orators are expected to research and speak intelligently, with a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some profit to the audience, about a topic of significance. Although many orations deal with a current problem and propose a solution this is not the only acceptable form of oratory. Your oration may simply alert the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an accepted cause, or eulogize a person. An orator is given free choice of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of development and presentation.

    1. Contest: This contest comprises only memorized  orations actually composed by the contestants and not used by them during a previous contest season. No visual aids are permitted.

    2. Subject: Any appropriate subject may be used, but the orator must be truthful. Any non-factual reference, especially a personal one, must be so identified.

    3. Length: The time limit in Original Oratory is 10 minutes with a 30 second “grace period”. If the judges in the round agree that the student has gone beyond the “grace period”, the student may not be ranked 1st, but need not be ranked last based on time. The ranking is up to each individual judge’s discretion. Judges who choose to time are to use accurate (stop watch function) timing devices. No minimum time is mandated.

    4. Quotation: Not more than 150 words of the oration may be direct quotation from any other speech or writing and such quotations must be identified in a printed copy of the oration supplied prior to registration. Extensive paraphrasing from other sources is prohibited.

    5. Script: The orator's script must be sent to the District Chair no later than two weeks prior to the district tournament. The script must identify the quoted materials, state the number of quoted words, include a work cited page in A.P.A. or M.L.A. format, and both the orator and the coach must attest by signature that the oration is the original work of the contestant.

    What is Original Oratory? (from NCFL)

    Original Oratory

    1) The speaker should be expected to discuss with a degree of originality, and in an interesting manner, the topic chosen.

    2) The speakers should be given wide latitude in the ideas they express, but they should be held closely accountable for the manner in 

    which they are expressed. It is suggested, but not obligatory, that the topic be a subject of contemporary significance.

    3) The speech must be one that has been composed by the student delivering it.

    4) The speech must be memorized.

    5) The number of words quoted from authors other than the contestant should not exceed 150. Extensive paraphrasing of other sources is prohibited.

    6) Original orations must be composed from the standpoint of the present speaker. However, the use of a persona for a maximum length of 1 minute shall be permitted.

    7) Visual and audio-visual aids are not permitted. Any singing must be limited to 30 seconds total within the oration.

    8) Time limits: Maximum - 10 minutes. If the speaker goes over a 30 second grace period, that contestant may not be awarded first place. No minimum time.

    What is Persuasive and Informative Speaking? (from PHSSL)

    Persuasive Speaking

    • Students must prepare to speak on a subject of their own choosing. The general purpose of the persuasive speech is to get the members of the audience to change or modify their beliefs, to believe more strongly, or to take a specific action.
    • The speech may not exceed ten minutes in length.
    • Quoted materials shall not exceed a total of 150 words.
    • On the entry blank, the coach will vouch that the persuasive speech is an original preparation of the student.
    • Plagiarism and extensive paraphrasing are strictly prohibited. Prior to each PHSSL tournament the student must send a copy of the speech, a bibliography and a cover sheet, signed by the student and the coach declaring this is an original speech. If at the tournament (District or State) another coach thinks it is plagiarism, it is up to that coach to provide proof of his/her statement. These speeches will be held by the Tournament Committee in case of a challenge. If at the tournament, another coach thinks there was plagiarism, it is up to that coach to provide proof of his/her statement.
    • Notes and visual aids may be used.
    • Violation of the listed rules will result in a contestant being disqualified from the tournament.
    Informative Speaking

    • Students must prepare to speak on a subject of their own choosing. The general purpose of the informative speech is for the members of the audience to gain understanding and/or knowledge.
    • The speech may not exceed seven minutes in length.
    • Quoted material shall not exceed a total of 125 words.
    • On the entry blank, the coach will vouch that the informative speech is an original preparation of the student.
    • Plagiarism and extensive paraphrasing is strictly prohibited. Prior to each PHSSL tournament the student must send a copy of the speech, a bibliography and a cover sheet, signed by the student and the coach declaring this is an original speech. If at the tournament (District or State) another coach thinks it is plagiarism, it is up to that coach to provide proof of his/her statement. These speeches will be held by the Tournament Committee in case of a  challenge. If at the tournament, another coach thinks there was plagiarism, it is up to that coach to provide proof of his/her statement.
    • Notes and visual aids may be used.
    • Violation of the listed rules will result in a contestant being disqualified from the tournament.

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