The Parkway High School
Speech and Debate Team
Consider joining the speech and debate team!
There is something for everyone!
Policy Debate - For many years, this was the only event offered to the Airline Debate team, and therefore, it is traditionally our oldest and most prominent event. Students work with a partner to debate the affirmative and negative side of the yearly topic. The topic for the upcoming year is Resolved: The United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing. Check out this video our team put together a few years ago to explain policy debate a little more.
LD - Lincoln Douglas Debate - In this one-on-one format, students debate a topic provided by the National Speech & Debate Association. Topics range from individual freedom versus the collective good to economic development versus environmental protection. Students may consult evidence gathered prior to the debate but may not use the internet in round. An entire debate is roughly 45 minutes and consists of constructive speeches, rebuttals, and cross-examination. This is an event with many opportunities to compete throughout the year.
Extemp - Extemporaneous Speaking – Students are presented with a choice of three questions related to national and international current events. The student has 30 minutes to 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. Check out this video of the National Champion in Extemp finals from 2018:
Impromptu - Impromptu is a public speaking event where students have seven minutes to select a topic, brainstorm their ideas, outline and deliver a speech. The speech is given without notes and uses an introduction, body, and conclusion. Check out this video of this National Finalist in Impromptu from 2017.
OO – Original Oratory - Students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech from memory on a topic of their choosing. Limited in their ability to quote words directly, competitors craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Topics range widely, and can be informative or persuasive. Check out this video of the 2019 National Champion in Original Oratory:
DI – Dramatic Interpretation - 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 from memory. This event focuses on the student’s ability to convey emotion through the use of a dramatic text. Check out this National Finalist in Dramatic Interpretation from the 2019 Nationals:
HI – Humorous Interpretation - 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 from memory. Humorous Interpretation is designed to test a student’s comedic skills through script analysis, delivery, timing, and character development. Check out this national champion in the event of Humorous Interpretation at the 2019 Nationals:
OI – Oral Interpretation - Using a short story, parts of a novel, or other published work of prose, students provide an oral interpretation of a selection of materials. Typically a single piece of literature, prose can be drawn from works of fiction or non-fiction. Prose corresponds to common speech patterns and may combine elements of narration and dialogue. This event is seven minutes, including an intro. Check out this national champion in the event of Poetry at the 2019 Nationals:
POI – Program Oral Interpretation - Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection. Check out this National Champion in POI from 2019: