Do you feel strongly about a current social issue? In this category, competitors write a persuasive speech that examines a chosen issue and then develops and supports a position concerning the issue. Judging takes place on the quality of writing along with the presentation of the speech.
Official Rules - 2013
- Original Oratory is an event in which the contestant presents his/her own PERSUASIVE composition of which no more than 10% shall be direct quotation. Because these orations have been written by the contestants, judges should consider the high quality of thought and composition, as well as, communicative delivery. All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources must be documented orally and in the written text.
- The orator should not be expected to solve any of the great problems of the day, but must offer some insight and guidance. The contestant should be expected to speak intelligently and with a degree of originality about the message chosen. The rule does not allow for any type of audience participation.
- The composition should be especially adapted to oral presentation, and the orator should employ a variety of persuasive skills and strive for eloquence in style. No particular manner of delivery is required, nor is any particular manner of content organization.
- A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.
- The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.
- THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION SHALL NOT EXCEED EIGHT (8) MINUTES. NO GRACE PERIOD IS PROVIDED IN THIS EVENT.
Complete speech rules and FAQs on rule interpretations can be found on the MSHSL website.