KHS Debate
  • Speech and Interp Events

    Most speech and interp events will have around six competitors per round.  Judges rank these competitors.  Judges also leave helpful notes on ballots for each competitor.  

    Extemp Domestic and International

    Students are presented with a choice of three questions related to international or domestic current events and, in 30 minutes, prepare a seven-minute speech answering the selected question. Students may consult articles and evidence they gather prior to the contest, but may not use the Internet during preparation. 

    Video Example of Extemp

    Prose & Poetry

    Using a poetry, short story, parts of a novel, or other published work of prose, students provide an oral interpretation of a selection of materials. Students hold their manuscript in a black binder, but delivery should incorporate eye contact, and the student should not simply read the works.

    Video Example of Poetry

    Program of Oral Interpretation

    Using multiple genres including poetry, prose, essays, speeches, plays, novels, new articles, and almost any other media, students weave a program of oral interpretation around a singular theme or argument that the student presents in their introduction. The student brings to life the literature through distinct characterization and blocking. They should attempt to incorporate a dramatic arc within the performance. A black binder is used to hold the student's manuscript and may be manipulated as a prop throughout the performance.

    Video example of POI

    Dramatic Interp & Humorous Interp

    Using a play, short story, or other published work, students perform a selection of one or more portions of a piece up to ten minutes in length. With a spotlight on character development and depth, Dramatic Interpretation focuses on a student’s ability to convey emotion through the use of a dramatic text. Humorous Interpretation is designed to test a student’s comedic skills through script analysis, delivery, timing, and character development. 

    Video Example of DI

    Video Example of HI

    Duo/Duet Interp

    Duo interpretation invites students to bring to life works of literature as pairs. In duo, the competitors cannot look directly at each other nor can they make physical contact. Instead, they must play with perspective and cheating off-stage to provide the illusion of the scene. In duet, however, students can look at each other and touch each other. They may also utilize two chairs as props or set pieces. In both duo and duet, a focus on character development and furthering of plot should be considered. Creative use of the space and blocking is also characteristic of the event.

    Video example of DUO

    Original Oratory

    Students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Limited in their ability to quote words directly, Original Oratory competitors craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals.

    Video Example of Oratory


    Impromptu is a public speaking event where students have seven minutes to select a topic, brainstorm their ideas, outline the speech, and finally, deliver the speech. The speech is given without notes and uses an introduction, body, and conclusion. The speech can be light-hearted or serious. The speech can be based upon prompts that range from nursery rhymes, current events, celebrities, organizations, and more.

    Video Example of Impromptu