Scholars of Speech Winter Rumble

2023 — Irvine, CA/US

How to Judge Impromptu

Impromptu Speaking at S.O.S. operates very similarly to Impromptu Speaking at the National Speech and Debate Association.

1) Judges will receive three prompts per speaker via their ballot.

2) The judge will call up the first speaker and confirm their time signals. Typically, the speaker will receive 30-second time warnings (30 seconds used, 1 minute used, 1:30 used) during preparation time, and then visual time warnings (holding up five fingers to signify five minutes left, four for four minutes, three for three minutes, two for two minutes, one for a minute, a "C" for 30 seconds, and a ten-second countdown on their fingers) from a judge or appointed timekeeper.

3) The first speaker will verbally receive their prompts from the judge. They will be given a small amount of time to confirm each of the prompts and, if they so choose, write them down. This time should not exceed 15 seconds. They will only give a speech on one of the three prompts; they choose to announce that prompt before they speak or within the speech's body.

4) That speaker's combined seven minutes of prep and speaking time will begin. Time will not stop as they get up and prepare to speak. During the prep time, the speaker should receive verbal warnings; as soon as they start speaking, nobody else should speak (only visual time warnings). If the speaker goes 30 seconds or more over seven minutes, they cannot get first place in the round.

5) The speaker should be evaluated based on their organization (the clarity of their speech), their content (if their speech seemed connected to the topic; if they were effectively informative, persuasive, or both), and their delivery (if their body language, vocal inflection, and facial expressions enhanced their message).

6) The same process will be applied to every other speaker in the room. Please note that every speaker will receive three different topics, and every topic should NOT be handed out to everyone at the start of the round.

7) Between speeches, check to see if there are any people who are double/triple-entered waiting outside. Give them a moment to come in and let students who are double/triple-entered in your room leave to go to their other categories. After the last person has spoken, if there are 'missing speakers' on your list, give them an additional 10 minutes to show up before marking them as a no-show.

8) At the end of the round, the judge will thank and dismiss the speakers. Then, they will rank the speakers (first place is best, fifth place is worst), give them speaker points (100 is best, 70 is worst), and submit their ballots. The judge will not give verbal feedback beyond generic encouragement during the round; this feedback will be written on the ballots.