Speech / Individual Events Typically Offered at ECHS

Speech practices are Sunday 4-6pm at the Coach Dave's house 1308 Liberty St., El Cerrito, Mondays 3:45-5:00pm, and Wednesdays from 2:40-4pm  Weekday practices take place in Ms. Nguyen’s room, C303

Events can vary year to year depending on student interest and the experience of the coaches.

Original Oratory

Orators are expected to research and speak intelligently, with a degree of originality in an interesting manner about a topic of significance. Although many orations deal with a current problem and propose a solution, there are other options. An oration may simply alert the audiences to a threatening danger, strengthen its devotion to an accepted cause, or eulogize a person. An orator is given free choice of subject and will be judged on the effectiveness of development and presentation. Time limit is ten minutes.

Dramatic Interpretation

This is an individual category in which the selections are dramatic in nature. Selections can be from published/printed novels, short stories, plays, poetry, or any other printed/published materials. Students work with the coach to determine the right piece to work on. Presentations must be memorized, without props or costumes. The time limit is ten minutes.

Humorous Interpretation

This is an individual event similar to Dramatic Interpretation (above) but selections are humorous in nature.

Duo-Interpretation

This is a two-person category similar to DI and HI above, in which the selection may be either humorous or dramatic in nature.

Thematic Interpretation

In ‘Original’ events speakers write the whole speech themselves; in ‘Interpretive’ events speakers perform a script published by someone else; in TI they can do both. Most interpretive events focus on one selection with one tone throughout, but in TI the speaker can mix together comedy and tragedy, fiction and nonfiction into a program of his/her own creation.

Oratorical Interpretation

Oratorical Interpretation, or OI, is an individual event that requires the student to find a published speech that was actually delivered in a public forum. This speech event encourages the speaker to understand the relationship of an oration to the times that inspired it. The student must analyze and understand the goals and motivation of the original speaker, and interpret the oration with a whole new voice to a whole new audience. It is not an impersonation; it is an interpretation.

Original Prose & Poetry

Students write and present a piece composed of original prose, poetry or a combination of prose and poetry. The material may be humorous, dramatic, or a combination. The competition in this event is challenging because the material varies so widely. OPP combines the originality of oratory and the creativity of interpretation. (You write your own ten minute piece)

Impromptu Speaking

This is an individual event in which the student is given a list of three topics and then has two minutes to prepare an original speech (of up to 5 minutes) about one of the topics. The event gives the speaker the opportunity to be creative and imaginative. An impromptu speech should reveal the student’s ability to “think on their feet” and to organize thoughts in a logical manner.

Extemporaneous Speaking

This is an individual event in which the student draws three topics on current events and then has 30 minutes to prepare and deliver a 7 minute speech answering one of the topics.  Students may participate in National or International extemp. Examples of international extemp topics are: Would freer trade be a boon for the world’s farmers? Would the ratification of the TPP be a setback for global climate change goals? Is Boko Haram in decline? Examples of U.S. extemp topics are: Will the expansion of biometric collections at America’s borders make the country safer from terrorism? Should the U.S. embrace offshore wind energy? What is the most important Senate race of the 2016 elections?

More Information

For more information, see the websites of: