2022 — Greer, SC/US
Novice Original Oratory
From the National Ballot: Since orations have been written by the contestants delivering them, the judges should consider thought, composition, and delivery. However, since this is a contest in speech rather than in essay writing, the emphasis should be placed on the speech phase. Thought and composition should be considered primarily in the way they are employed to make effective speaking possible. The orator should not be expected to solve any of the great problems of the day. Any appropriate subject may be chosen, but the orator must be truthful. Any non-factual reference, especially a personal one, MUST be so identified. Although many orations deal with a current problem and propose a solution, the judge is expressly reminded that this is not the only acceptable form of oratory. The oration may simply alert the audience to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an accepted cause, or eulogize a person. The orator should be given free choice of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of its development and presentation. The composition should be considered carefully for its rhetoric and diction. The use of appropriate figures of speech, similes and metaphors, balanced sentences, allusions, and other rhetorical devices to make the oration more effective should be noted especially. Use of American English should be more than correct; it should reveal a discriminating choice of words and altogether fine literary qualities. It should be especially adapted to oral presentation. Delivery should be judged for mastery of the usual mechanics of speech - poise, quality and use of voice, bodily expressiveness, and for the qualities of directness and sincerity which impress the oration upon the minds of the audience. No particular style of delivery is to be set up as the one correct style to which all contestants must conform. Rather, each contestant is to be judged upon the effectiveness of his/her delivery, free to choose or develop whatever style will best give him/her that effectiveness with his/her particular oration.
Time Limit: 10 minutes, with a 30 second grace period. (Presentations that exceed the grace period may not receive first place in the round. Any other penalty is at the judge’s discretion.)
While Original Oratory is ordinarily a memorized event, at this early tournament both varsity and novice competitors may use manuscripts. Do not penalize or reward students based purely on memory.