Skip to main content Skip to main content

Description of Events

Oratory

The oratory speech contest will involve contestants giving persuasive speeches on topics of significance. Because any topic can be made significant, all contestants are simply asked to not speak on trivial topics and are encouraged –but are not obligated– to consider speaking on one of the following topics: embracing diversity, freedom of speech, civility in communication, war and peace, civic engagement, multi-cultural sensitivity, social justice, maintaining personal space in an age of digital discourse, and the upcoming presidential election. During the course of the oratory speech, the speaker should attempt to change the attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors of the audience members. Contestants may pick any topic, but do so with an awareness that the speech needs to be between 7-10 minutes long. Speeches over 11 minutes will be disqualified. No visual aids are allowed and while memorization is not expected, contestants should attempt to keep the amount of notes used during the speech to a minimum. In addition to traditional speech elements (introduction, body, and conclusion), solid delivery, and use of Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, ethos), speeches must also have solid references/sources with those references/sources verbally cited when the speech is given. All rounds (Preliminary and Final) will take place on Friday, April 28. The ballot to be used by the judges to score the event is available by request.


Water Oratory

The water oratory speech contest will involve contestants giving persuasive speeches on topics directly related to water issues, and will take place within the Oratory Category (contestants will choose Water Oratory by a checkmark in your application, whether you will pursue a water topic). These topics may include, but are not limited to: water conflict, water conservation, water rights, water pollution, pollution of the oceans, water usage, bottled water, water wars, and fracking. There are dozens of potential topics, if not hundreds. The speech may focus on local, state, national, international, or global issues. Because this speech is expected to be persuasive, speakers must take a clear position on the water issue of choice and attempt to convince the audience to accept the speech’s statement of fact (eg., “The world will be out of drinkable water by 2050”), statement of value (“The United States is ethically obligated to go to the aid of drought-stricken parts of the world”), or statement of policy (“America should not use recyclable water bottles”). Other possible claims might include: “Each individual citizen should do his or her part to conserve water” or “Currently, water pollution laws in the United States should be more stringently enforced.” At times, persuasive speeches may also ask the listener to take action such as writing a congressional representative, getting a flush inhibitor on a toilet, or converting one’s yard to a low water maintenance yard. Here are additional elements of the speech that contestants should consider. Contestants may pick any topic, but do so with an awareness that the speech needs to be between 7-10 minutes long. Speeches over 11 minutes will be disqualified. No visual aids are allowed and while memorization is not expected, contestants should attempt to keep the amount of notes used during the speech to a minimum. In addition to traditional speech elements (introduction, body, and conclusion), solid delivery, and use of Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, ethos), speeches must also have solid references/sources with those references/sources verbally cited when the speech is given. All rounds will take place on Friday, April 28. The ballot to be used by the judges to score the event is available by request.. Tom Cech (tcech@msudenver.edu), Director of One World One Water, -the event’s sponsor- has kindly offered to help contestants with topics. Feel free to email him with questions about topics.


Extemporaneous

The extemporaneous speech event will involve each contestant drawing three topics “out of a hat.” Each contestant will then select ONE of the three topics to be used as the topic for their speech. Roughly 50 topics will be possible and will include current local, state, national, and international events. Most topics will be worded to suggest the speech be done persuasively, rather than given as a strictly informative speech. Once each contestant chooses a topic, 30 minutes will be given to prepare. Speech length must be between 7-10 minutes; those speeches that reach 11 minutes will be automatically disqualified. Resources such as smartphones or laptops may be used during speech preparation. In addition to traditional speech elements (introduction, body, and conclusion), solid delivery, and use of Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, ethos), speeches must also have solid sources with those sources verbally cited when the speech is given. All (Preliminary and Final) rounds will take place on Friday, April 28. The ballot to be used by the judges to score this event is available by request.