Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League

M.I.S.L.

Competitive Speech 101

There are four different sections of competitive speech under which the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League compete. They are:

Prepared Speeches:

This section of competitive speech includes origional works from participants, including:

-Informative Speaking (a speech with the intent to inform)
-Persuasive Speaking (a speech with the intent to persuade to a point of view)
-Rhetorical Criticism (a speech comparing a communication theory with a communication event or artifact)
-After Dinner Speaking (humorous informative or persuasive style speech)

Limited Preparation Speeches:
This section of competitive speech is characterized by its regulated preparation time and has two varieties, including:

-Extemporaneous Speaking (a speech with a preparation time of 30 min and usually without internet access)
-Impromptu Speaking (a speech usually prompted by a quotation, editorial cartoon, object or rhetorical situation and within 7 minutes the competitor must prepare and deliver an organized speech. )

Interpretive Performance:
This section of competitive speech is based upon a performance of a previously written work, segmented into five types.  Each is 8-10 minutes long and performers are required to hold a manuscript during the performance.  These events include:

-Prose Interpretation (a cutting from a short story or longer novel)
-Poetry Interpretation (one long poem or many shorter poems unified by a theme)
-Dramatic Interpretation (cutting can be from stage, film, & radio)
-Duo Interpretation (two people performing any combo of the above three types)
-Program Oral Interpretation (one person performs from 2 or more genres of literature) (This type is not practiced in National Forensics Association meets)

Debate:
This section of competitive speech is characterized by its multi-perspective, combative structure and includes two varieties:

-Parliamentary Debate (a debate style often characterized by Points of Interest or the ability to interrupt to question or rebut to debaters, interrupts can be accepted or denied) This style may be offered for team competition, or for individual competitors.
-Lincoln Douglas (a firmly structured debate style centered around logic and moral understanding)

For a more detailed description of the individual events, see the National Forensic Association website or click directly to the webpagehttp://www.nationalforensics.org/competition/individual-events. You can also visit the American Forensic Association (AFA) website and click on the pdf file found at http://www.afa-niet.org/.  Note that currently, not all AFA events are offered in the NFA Championships.

For more information about the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate visit http://www.nationalforensics.org/competition/lincoln-douglas-debate.