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The Spectacular Vernacular

A Public Speaking Contest - April 25th and 26th, 2014

For more information or to register, email Prof. Mike Monsour, wmonsour@msudenver.edu

Spectacular Vernacular Information:

What:  A public speaking contest with three categories, original oratory, extemporaneous, and a special oratory category focused on water issues.  A contestant can compete in both oratory and extemp categories.

When:  Friday, April 25th and Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Who:  Any Metro student who has completed or is currently enrolled in SPE 1010 Public Speaking

First Prize Oratory and Extemp:  $100 cash and an award plaque in each category

Second Prize Oratory and Extemp:  $50 cash and an award plaque in each category

First Prize Water Issues Oratory:  $100 cash and an award plaque

Original Oratory Category:  Competitors may present speeches that are designed to do one or more of the following:  advocate, persuade, convince, inspire, evoke, motivate, commemorate, celebrate, eulogize, or entertain.  Although competitors select their own topic, they are encouraged to focus on topics such as embracing diversity, freedom of speech, war and peace, civility in communication, civic engagement, multi-cultural sensitivity, environmental advocacy, social justice, and personal space in an age of digital discourse.  We discourage speeches that involve dramatic reading or rendition of material from poems, songs, or existing speeches.  This is NOT a dramatic or oral interpretation event.  The speech MUST be the speaker's original work.

The speaker's first speech will be given sometime on Friday, April 25th (time to be determined during registration).  The competitor will deliver their oratory in a round with four other contestants.  If he or she places first, that person will move on to the second round, also on Friday.  The top-scoring speakers will move on to the semi-final and final rounds on Saturday, April 26th.

Visual aids and power points are not allowed.  Use of notes is highly discouraged.  Speakers must use the same speech throughout the tournament.  The speech should be 8-10 minutes long.

Water Oratory Category: In partnership with One World, One Water (OWOW), we are offering a special category of competition in oratory (see above for description of oratory) surrounding water issues. This competition will take place in one room of the preliminary rounds of oratory on Friday, April 25. These speeches are to deal exclusively with water issues and should be 8-10 minutes long. Some possible topics are: conservation, pollution, availability, off-shore drilling, hydraulic fracking, drought, water table, privatization, etc. After the preliminary round the top two speeches will continue on to compete in the final water oratory competition on Saturday.

Extemporaneous Category:  Outside of oratory, extemporaneous speaking is the most common type of individual speaking in competitive tournaments across the country.  Competitors will draw three topics from a "hat" containing 50 topics that are both timely and timeless.  The speaker selects one of the three topics.  The competitor will be given 30 minutes to prepare an 8-10 minute speech.  Competitors are encouraged to bring a laptop to assist them in researching their topic.  

The speaker's first speech will be given sometime Friday (to be determined during registration).  The person speaks in her or his round with four other contestants.  If she or he places first, that person will move on to the second round, also on Friday.  The best speakers will move onto the semi-final and final rounds on Saturday, April 26th.  Visual aids and power points are not allowed.  Use of notes is highly discouraged.  Speakers must use the same extemp speech throughout the tournament.

Judging Criteria:  There will be one judge in each of the preliminary rounds and three judges in each semi-final round.  Each of the two final rounds will have seven judges.  Although judges will be using ballots to determine points for each speaker, as a general rule speeches will be evaluated based on an equal weighing of content and delivery.