All the information below is provided by the National Speech and Debate Association. Please click here to see more information (including videos and topic examples).

Please click here for more in-depth descriptions of all events.

Click on any of the events below to view more detailed descriptions and video examples.

platform speaking Events

speech - platform speaking and interpretation captains: Ashley wang and jeannie Zhao.

These events focus on traditional public speaking skills and connecting to an audience either through an original or previously written speech. 

Original Oratory 

Original Oratory is a speech written by the student with the intent to inform or persuade the audience on a topic of significance. Oratory gives students the unique opportunity to showcase their voice and passion for their topic.

An Oratory is not simply an essay about the topic—it is a well researched and organized presentation with evidence, logic, emotional appeals, and sometimes humor to convey a message. Topics may be of a value orientation and affect people at a personal level, such as avoiding peer pressure, or they can be more of a policy orientation and ask an audience to enact particular policies or solve societal problems.

Declamation 

Declamation is a public speaking event where students deliver a portion or portions of a speech previously delivered. The speech the student delivers can be any publicly delivered speech. Commencement addresses, historical speeches, political speeches, and celebrity speeches are common examples that students may use to select their declamation. Speeches are up to 10 minutes in length. As a result, students typically shorten the text of the speech to meet time requirements.

The goal of a declamation is to convey a message with clarity, emotion, and persuasiveness. The event is not designed for students to mimic the original author of the speech. Instead, speakers are to develop an oration that delivers the message of the author in an original and engaging manner.

Informative Speaking  

Informative is a speech written by the student with the intent to inform the audience on a topic of significance. Informative gives students the unique opportunity to showcase their personality while educating the audience.

An Informative is not simply an essay about the topic — it is a well researched and organized presentation with evidence, logic and sometimes humor to convey a message. Topics are varied and interesting. Whether it be a new technological advance the audience is unaware of or a new take on a concept that everyone is familiar with, Informative is the students opportunity to teach the audience. Types of topics and structure vary greatly. Visual aids are permitted (and common) but not required.