Prepared speech (worth 60% of the total points)
The panel of adjudicators are looking for a prepared speech which engages the audience, uses Plain English and demonstrates social awareness.
They use a set of criteria for the prepared speech that covers the following:
- Does the speech demonstrate research and planning?
- Is there evidence of supporting material for the topic (for example, statistics, examples, quotes)?
- Does the speech demonstrate social awareness?
- Is the speech original and intelligent in its exploration of the topic?
- Does the speech have a convincing message that engages the audience?
- Does the speaker develop the argument and line of thought logically and effectively?
- Is the topic or purpose established early in the speech?
- Does the speech have a satisfactory conclusion?
- Does the speech have an overall sense of structure?
- Are the speaker’s views stated clearly and in Plain English? This is evident when the speaker avoids:
- ineffectual repetitions, e.g. 'Ladies and Gentlemen'
- pompous or condescending language
- over dramatic expressions
- awkward pauses
- conspicuous use of notes, reading, shuffling palm cards
- inappropriate quotations
- irrelevant or inappropriate humour
- Is the language appropriate for the topic and the audience?
- Is the delivery audible and articulate?
- Does the speaker use pitch, pace and pauses effectively?
- Is the speaker's style confident, fluent and natural?
- Does the speaker avoid extravagant gestures or movement?
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Impromptu speech (worth 40% of the total points)
In the impromptu section the adjudicators are looking for speeches which have a structure, and move beyond the speaker’s personal experience to the wider arena (local and/or world events).
They use a set of criteria for the impromptu speech that covers the following:
- Does the speaker demonstrate a broad general knowledge?
- Does the speaker show that they can think clearly and creatively under pressure?
- Is the speaker able to structure a speech in a relatively short time?
- Does the speaker use Plain English?
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The combination of all the various components of speechmaking leaves an impression on the audience at the end of the speech. Adjudicators will ask:
- Was the message clear and engaging?
- Was it worth listening to?
- Did the speaker appear to believe in what he/she was saying?
- Did the audience appear to show understanding and appreciation?