About

The Speech and Debate team compete in Texas Forensic Association and UIL tournaments throughout the year. The team consists of students from Debate and Oral Interpretation classes. The Debate students compete in different events from the Oral Interpretation students at the tournaments.

Oral Interpretation Events:

  • Dramatic Interpretation (DI) - This event involves memorization and performance of a ten-minute dramatic "cutting" from a play, novel, or movie script. The performer may play one (or more) character(s) and will be judged on how well they interpret them.
  • Humorous Interpretation (HI) - This event is quite similar to DI, with two major distinctions. The first is that the ten-minute cutting should be humorous by nature, and the second is that monologues are frowned upon in this event, preferring stories with multiple characters. The student is judged based on the character distinctions and creative interpretation.
  • Poetry (PO) - This event involves the reading of a poem (or woven selection) in a program based on a common theme. It involves reading from a binder, but still making eye contact with the audience. It can be humorous, dramatic, or a combination of both. Can compete in TFA (state-wide) and UIL (University Interscholastic League).
  • Prose (PR) - This event involves the performance of a prose (or woven selection of prose) in a program based on a common theme. Similar to Poetry, it involves reading from a binder, but still making eye contact with the audience and can be humorous, dramatic, or a combination of the two. Sometimes combined with Poetry as the event Oral Interpretation (OI). Can compete in TFA (state-wide) and UIL (University Interscholastic League).
  • Duo Interpretation (DUO) - This event involves two performers presenting a ten-minute segment of a play. Like HI and DI above, they may perform one or several roles. Performers may not look at or interact directly with one another. Acting is expected, but the performers must synchronize their movements.
  • Duet Acting (DA) - This event is similar to Duo Interpretation, but actors are permitted to look at one another and make direct physical contact, as well as use two chairs in the performance. Can compete in TFA, but not nationally.
  • Program Oral Interpretation (POI) - In this event a student weaves together two different pieces of either a Prose, Poetry or Drama to create one cohesive message or argument.

Debate Events:

  • Public Forum Debate (PF) - This event involves opposing teams of two, debating a topic concerning a current event. Students present cases, engage in rebuttal and refutation, and also participate in a “crossfire” (like cross examination) with the opportunity to question the opposing team.
  • Lincoln Douglas Debate (LD) - This is what most people picture when they think of debate. In this one-on-one format, students debate a topic provided by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) using constructive speeches, rebuttals and cross-examination.
  • Policy Debate (CX) - A two-on-two debate that focuses on a policy question and tests a student’s research, analytical and delivery skills. Involves the proposal of a plan by the affirmative team, while the other team offers reasons to reject that proposal.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking (EXTEMP)* - Students are presented with a selection of questions related to current events in the United States or foreign countries and, in 30 minutes, prepare a seven minute speech answering the selected question by memory.
  • Original Oratory (OO)* - Students compose and memorize a ten-minute non-fictional speech on any topic or issue, and then deliver it, keeping in mind the aspects of quality public speaking.
  • Informative (INFO)* - Students author and deliver a ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. All topics must be informative in nature; the goal is to educate, not to advocate.
  • Congressional Debate (CONGRESS) - A simulation of the U.S. legislation process, students generate a series of bills and resolutions for debate. Debaters alternate delivering speeches for and against the topic in a group setting, while an elected student serves as a presiding officer to ensure debate flows smoothly.

*some debate events may crossover as "speech" events