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Required Competition

To register for this event, please download the application and email to Ryan Winn at

Coordinator: Ryan Winn


Registration Deadline: Friday March 1, 2024


Competition Objectives

  • Bolster students’ skills as interpreters, researchers, communicators, and leaders.

  • Showcase talent and skills in public speaking, research, and critical thinking.

  • Educate the competitors in public speaking.


Competition Rules

  1. The six (6) categories for the Speeches Competition include Persuasive, Informative, Individual Oral Interpretation (Serious or Humorous), and Duo Interpretation (Serious or Humorous).

  2. Tribal College students may register for one or all categories.

  3. Each AIHEC Tribal College may register five (5) students in each category.

  4. Tribal College students cannot sign up twice in the same category.

  5. Tribal College students shall sign up for each event before a designated time TBD (to be determined).

  6. The judges for the event will be hired by the coordinator.

  7. The judge/timer will signal the contestants to begin.

  8. No photos or videotaping, and no entering or exiting the venue during the speech.

  9. Notecards may be used for the persuasive and informative speeches (no limits on the notecards) and the Tribal College students shall provide a list of all sources.

  10. The Tribal College student shall hold the manuscript at all times for interpretative speeches.

  11. Each speech will be scored three (3) times by three (3) judges for each round using color coded judging forms. Judges will turn in signed forms to the Speech Competition coordinator and assistants who will tally and rank each participant. The coordinator and assistants will post results by the speech registration area. The top three scores (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) will receive awards; the top five (5) will receive certificates. There are no final rounds. Placing will be determined by total points. Ties will be settled by a coin toss.

  12. Speeches in each category are required to be a minimum of five (5) minutes to a maximum of eight (8) minutes. Pieces which do not meet minimum time limits will be automatically ranked as a five (5), which is the lowest score.

  13. Visuals may be used in the informative and persuasive speeches. No PowerPoints will be permitted.

  14. A lectern is discouraged but will be provided if a Tribal College student wishes to use one. Easels will be provided. The lectern and easel are not permitted for interpretative speeches.

  15. The first day of the student conference will be a rehearsal day for the competitors. The Speeches coordinator can hire a paid professional to provide feedback to the student competitors and coaches. Feedback from a paid professional will be a one-way interaction: there is not enough time for every coach or student competitor to comment on the feedback.


Oral Interpretation: Dramatic, Humorous, or Duet

  1. Oral Interpretation may consist of the following:

    1. Poetry and prose readings

    2. Famous speeches

    3. Drama cuttings (plays)

    4. Legends, stories

    5. Cuttings from novels and short stories

    6. The Bible

    7. Magazine articles

    8. Essays

    9. Newspaper articles

  2. Interpretation is the art of re-creation. You re-create the selection in its total effect.

  3. As the interpreter, you try to re-create the intellectual and emotional meaning that the writer was trying to convey.

  4. Interpretation differs from impersonation and acting in four (4) ways:

    1. The interpreter reads the material as himself/herself.

    2. The interpreter shares the material with the audience.

    3. The interpreter establishes the fact that he/she is the intermediary between the writer and the audience.

    4. The interpreter sets the scene in the minds of the audience and on the platform; he/she stays within a very small area (except for the dramatic duo).

  5. Steps to follow in preparing your presentation:

    1. Cut selection to the appropriate time allotted. Make sure the intellectual and emotional content remain intact.

    2. Rewrite the selection double-spaced so that it is both easy to read and to follow.

      1. Mount the pages on 8 1/2 X 11 cardboard or construction paper and number each page.

    3. Mark the pauses and the words and phrases for emphasis.

    4. Prepare an appropriate and audience-catching introduction. The introduction sets the scene and establishes the mood for the interpreter and the audience.

    5. Practice, Practice, Practice

  6. The introduction can include the following:

    1. The setting

    2. The time

    3. Biographical information

    4. Cultural background

    5. Psychological aspects of the character/writer

    6. Any other pertinent information or explanations

  7. The Introduction Will Be Memorized. - The introduction is counted in the total time of your presentation. The body of the speech may also be memorized if so desired. Use of a manuscript is optional.

  8. If a drama cutting is selected:

    1. Placement of the characters can be accomplished by turning slightly to the left or right

    2. Distinguish between each character by voice and body inflection

    3. Suggest each character through vocal elements, posture, and muscle tone.

    4. Face straight ahead during the introduction and when explaining scene changes.

  9. A Speakers Stand and a microphone will not be used. It will be up to the speaker to project his/her voice so everyone in the audience can hear and understand the interpretation Also, facial and body gestures play a very important part in the interpretation of your selection

  10. Remember:

    1. The pause is a very effective tool for building suspense and climax and for reinforcing emotional content,

    2. Watch your posture - don't sway back and forth.

    3. Don't play with your manuscript. (The speaker's stand will not be there to hide behind.)

    4. Say "Thank-you" at the end of your presentation.


Duet Interpretation

  1. A cutting from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two (2) or more characters presented by two (2) individuals.

  2. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio.

  3. This is not an acting event.

  4. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other.

  5. Maximum time limit is eight (8) minutes including introduction.

  6. The duo interpretation may be memorized: however, a manuscript for each speaker is the norm.


Persuasive Speech

  1. You shall have a minimum of three (3) different sources

    1. I.e. books, pamphlets, etc.

  2. Use evidence in your speech. Evidence includes:

    1. EXAMPLE - A typical, specific instance, either actual or hypothetical.

    2. COMPARISON - The statement of similarity and/or difference between specific objects or instances.

    3. STATISTICS - A numerical example or a numerical comparison.

    4. DEFINITION - The classification of an idea and the distinguishing of it from others in the same area.

    5. QUOTATION - An exact statement from another person(s).

    6. INTERVIEW - A statement given to you during a conference with another person(s).

  3. Try not to use the same type of evidence throughout your speech.

  4. Use current material whenever possible.

  5. Refer to your references within your speech and state the dates of the articles. (Do not state all of your references at the end of your speech).

  6. Select topics that show harm or a need for a change. Use note cards. (No Limit)

  7. Appeal to the emotions of the audience.

  8. Have a conclusion that calls for action.

  9. Pay particular attention to the persuasive speaking criteria (see attached evaluation blank).


Informative Speech

  1. The primary purpose of this speech is to inform the audience. Any other purpose, such as to entertain, impress, or to convince, shall be secondary.

  2. The student is encouraged to use visual media.

  3. Keep your topic specific and focused. Do not try to cover too many major points in this short time frame.

  4. Some documentation is required (but is less formal than in a persuasive speech).

  5. If at all possible, tie in your own life experiences to your topic.

  6. Pay particular attention to the informative public speaking criteria (see attached evaluation blank).

  7. Use note cards.

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