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WIDPSC

World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships

Competition

Information about the Championships

A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.

Peggy Noonan

Event Guidlines and Descriptions

ALL COMPETITORS MUST ENTER ALL FOUR CATEGORIES. COMPETITORS WILL BE MARKED FOR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE THROUGHOUT THE CHAMPIONSHIPS.

General Guidelines


Students must author their own speeches and may not use any speech or reading that has been used in an inter-school competition prior to January 1 of the year that they are competing in the World Individual competition. Students may not use any published or recorded material in any medium verbatim or virtually verbatim without attribution. Penalties may be applied to any competitor who violates any of these rules. Students usually present the same material in all rounds of a prepared event but it is also acceptable for them to present different material if they wish to. There is no additional credit given for using different material.


Category One: Debating

Contestants will work with a partner from a different school to propose and second, or oppose and second a motion/resolution. The motion will be presented to the teams approximately 45 minutes before the start of the debate. Teams will spend no more than 10 minutes agreeing on a definition, and the remainder of the time preparing their speeches.

Emphasis on judging will be on clash, spontaneity, logic, wit, content and teamwork.


Specific guidelines:

  • Teams must agree on the definition before the debate; definitional challenges/parallel debates must be avoided.
  • Points of Information are permitted.
  • Speakers are permitted to use notes/paper but are discouraged from reading.

Category Two: Impromptu Speaking


General guidelines:

Each speaker will draw three topics, which may be a word, a quotation or a phrase - anything not specifically related to current events. The speaker will have two minutes to prepare, during which time he/she may make notes, but these notes may not be used during the speech. Wit, humour, philosophy, sentiment, absurdity are equally welcome. Although a speaker may make reference to the words or beliefs of others, whether fictional or real characters, he or she must speak in his or her own person for the substantial majority of the speech.


Judges will be looking for agility of thought, for some "meat on the bones", for organisational ability - and above all, for the ability of each speaker to communicate with style and originality. It is strictly understood that competitors will not use prepared material for this event. 

Specific guidelines:

  • Speeches should be structured and logical.
  • The interpretation of the topic and the speech should correlate in a meaningful way.
  • Canned/rehearsed/reworked impromptus will be penalized.
  • Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable.
  • No props of any kind are permitted.
  • The speaker must state the topic at the end of their speech.
  • No notes of any kind, other than the topic paper are permitted during the speech.
  • Although a speaker may make reference to the words or beliefs of others, whether fictional or real characters, he or she must speak in his or her own person for the substantial majority of the speech. Adoption of a persona is not allowed for Impromptu speaking.

Category Three: Interpretive Reading

General guidelines:


Each participant will read a passage of prose or poetry (or a selection of poems) of literary merit, serious or humorous, with an appropriate introduction included in the time limit. The introduction should give an indication of the context of the reading and convey the reasons why it has been chosen. The introduction should be a direct address to the audience, personal and informal.


Judges will be instructed to mark readings of material written principally for children by severe standards relating to the simplicity of the material presented and the lack of demand on the resources of the reader.

Specific guidelines:

  • Dramatic interpretations of the text must be avoided.
  • Dramatic gestures/techniques should be used rarely and only to enhance the text.
  • Books written for children can be interpreted as books that would read by primary school readers ie children under the age of 13. Literary merit would be books for young adults and older.
  • Auto/Biographies and nonfiction are discouraged.
  • A recitation of a historical speech is not acceptable though the reading of a fictional one is acceptable.
  • Speakers must ideally balance reading of the text, knowing the text and eye-contact.
  • Speakers may sit or stand.
  • Speakers may read from the book, an iPad/Kindle or a photocopied script but the supporting material should still not distract from the reading.

Category Four: Persuasive Speaking (Option A)

This speech is designed to persuade and must be on a serious topic of interest to a contemporary audience. However, of course, humour may well be used to advantage in the speech. A problem/solution approach must be taken, although the speaker may finally conclude, for good reasons that must be shown, that no solution can currently be found. The speaker must not adopt a party political stance.

Specific guidelines:

  • The persuasive speech must take a problem/solution approach.
  • Problem must be real or feasible at present or within the near future.
  • Imagined/fictional problems are not acceptable. ie The Zombie Apocalypse
  • Motivational speeches/monologues/dramatic interpretations are not acceptable.
  • Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable.
  • No props of any kind are permitted.
  • Speakers may not use any supporting material other than one (double-sided) cue card [10cm x 14cm].

Category Four: After-dinner Speaking (Option B)

General guidelines:

The speaker has to deliver a speech that must entertain but also inform. The speech should be designed to be delivered from the top table after a dinner. The speaker will have chosen the company, corporation, society or group of diners, which will be his/her audience, and the judges will assume the role of this imaginary audience. There must therefore be a sound connection between the nominated audience and the content of the speech. Please note that it is not required that the competitor should at any time formally identify his/her audience, so long as it is clear beyond doubt who he/she is supposed to be addressing. Time penalties are especially severe in this event.

Specific guidelines:

  • Speakers are encouraged to use wit and humour but a comedy routine of one-liners must be avoided.
  • Speeches should be humorous but should have some underlying moral point/criticism.
  • Use of satire/parody/puns is acceptable.
  • Hate speech of any kind is unacceptable.
  • Speakers cannot be, or address inanimate objects.
  • No props of any kind are permitted. (A prop is considered to be anything that a competitor would not normally have on their person when delivering the speech)
  • Speakers may not use any supporting material other than one (double-sided) cue card [10cm x 14cm].

SPEECH TIMES

Style

Times and penalities

1) Prepared speaking

a)          PERSUASIVE SPEAKING

Each speech should be about 10 minutes long with a 3 minute grace period on either side.

[A time penalty of 10 points will automatically be incurred for speaking under 7 minutes and the following penalty points apply for times over 13 minutes: 13.01 to 13.30 -2, 13.31 to 14.00 -5, above 14 -10 ]

b)          AFTER-DINNER SPEAKING

The speech should be 5 - 7 minutes long.

[A time penalty of 10 points will automatically be incurred for speaking for less than 5 minutes and the following penalty points will apply for times over 7 minutes: 7.01 to 7.30 -2 , 7.31 to 8.00 -5 , above 8 -10]

2) Debating

A choice of two resolutions will be presented to the teams approximately 45 minutes before the start of the debate. One team, as designated, will choose the topic, while the other team will choose the side. Different resolutions will be issued for each round.

Teams will spend 10 minutes clarifying the motion, agreeing on a definition, and the remainder of the time (about 35 minutes) composing their own speeches. The length and order of speeches are as follows:

The Proposer:                        6 mins


The Opposer:                                      6 mins


The Seconder to the Prop:                9 mins


The Seconder to the Opp:                 9 mins


The Opposer (reply):                          3 mins


The Proposer (reply):                          3 mins


30 seconds? grace either way

3) Impromptu speaking

Each speaker will have 2 minutes to prepare. Competitors may sit or stand while preparing and may make some notes, although these may not be used during the speech.

Each speaker will have 3 - 5 minutes to speak, with 15 seconds? grace on either side. There is no advantage relative to length of speaking to the maximum permissible times.

[Deviations outside the 2.45 and 5.15 limits will incur time penalty marks. A time penalty of 10 marks will be incurred for speaking under 2.45 minutes and the following for going over 5.15: 5.16 to 5.30 -2, 5.31 to 6.00 -5, above 6.01 -10]

4) Interpretive reading

The reading should be between 5 - 11 minutes long. An introduction of up to 1 minute is included in the time permitted.

[A time penalty of 10 marks will automatically be incurred for going under 5 minutes and the following penalty points apply for times over 11 minutes: 11.01 to 11.30 -2 , 11.31 to 12.00 -5, above 12 -10]

NOTE: There is no advantage relative to length of speaking to the maximum permissible times in any of the above categories.

Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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