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National Speech Championship

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General information

This is a College tournament in Minnesota.

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With immense appreciation, you are invited to attend the fifth National Speech Championship on March 20th and 21st, 2021. 

This tournament will provide an opportunity for teams of all resource levels to once again compete for a national team championship. The competition will be incredible and opportunities for both individual and team placement will abound. Special congratulations to Ball State University for winning the 2019 National Speech Championship and to all teams who participated in last year’s Online Experience.

 

I am so very thankful to the hundreds of individuals who supported The National Speech Championship over the years by competing, coaching, running the tournament, and judging. I want to give an incredible thank you to Dawn Lowry at GMU who did so much work to host last year but did not have the opportunity to see all of you on the GMU campus. I also want to extend a thank you to all of you who will be joining us this year.

The 2021 tournament will be hosted online through Hopin.

Hopin entry link information will be sent to teams that enter the tournament. This platform allows for significant face to face video connections between rounds. It also provides the tools the production company needs to best offer professional quality event coverage. The tournament will be synchronous “live” but students will be given an option to submit recordings in place of live performance.

 

Entry Fees

There will be no charge for any entries covered by judges. Teams are asked to provide enough judges to cover their entry. Each judge will cover six entries. Hired judges will be available at a rate of $40 per uncovered entry. If this fee prevents any team from attending the tournament, that team may contact the tournament director, Ryan Lauth, at info@nationalspeechchampionship.com, for a fee waiver. The tournament is happy to provide this fee waiver as a means to support forensics participation around the nation. 

 

Entries will be due via Speechwire.com by March 10th --- If you can enter earlier, please do so!

 

Entry Limits

Each team will be allowed a maximum of two entries per event. A single student may enter in duo twice if each duo has a separate partner. A single student can be entered in each event, other than duo, only once. There are no flight restrictions for individual students, however judges will be asked not to wait for competitors past the beginning of the following round in order to keep the tournament on schedule. There will be no qualification process necessary for entry. The exception to the maximum limit is Interviewing. Each team may enter a maximum of five entries in Interviewing. Points will not be awarded for Interviewing.

 

Novice

Students in their first year of collegiate competition are allowed to be entered as novice on speechwire. They will compete in the open division but will be eligible for novice exhibition finals only if they do not advance in that event to open elimination rounds. There will be no ranking of the novice exhibition final rounds. Instead, a moderator will run the round and offer only feedback on ballots. Novice final round competitors will be recognized during the awards ceremony. There will be no points awarded for novice final rounds.

 

Scoring

No points will be earned in preliminary round competition. There will be two judges in each preliminary round. Elimination round placement will be determined based on each entry’s three best ranks. Only the highest placing entry from each team in each event will score points. Points will be determined by adding all of the elimination round placements along the following scale:

Quarter finals = 1point

Semi finals = 2points

6th place = 2 points

5th place = 4 points

4th place = 6 points

3rd place = 8 points

2nd place = 10 points 

1st place = 12 point 

A student winning an event will therefore earn 15 team points. 

 

Awards

Medals will be awarded to all elimination round competitors, including those in Interviewing. Traveling team trophies will be awarded to the top ten teams based upon points from elimination rounds. Each of these trophies will include the engraved names of the participating coaches and students from the team earning that trophy. 

The traveling team trophies will need to be returned to the tournament the following year. The top fifteen teams will also be awarded a team trophy that can be kept. A traveling team award will also be given to the team earning the most points in tournament history with points being reset to zero after winning.  Recognition will also be given to the top three non-scholarship programs, the top three two year institutions, the top three programs directed by undergraduate students, and the top three programs directed by graduate students. 

 

Recording Limitations

There are no recording limitations. If a student wishes to submit a recording in the place of a live performance, the student is free to innovate or create without restriction. However, please remember that there are benefits and drawbacks to submitting a recording. From a competitive perspective, there is little evidence showing 

recordings are better or worse than live performance. Students should choose what is best for their individual situation. Students may choose to perform live in elim rounds after submitting a recording for prelims if they notify the tournament director of this plan prior to the tournament. Recordings will be submitted via speechwire. 

 

Limited Preparation Events

It is the expectation that limited preparation events be performed live. However, if a student must submit a recording in order to participate, please contact the tournament director, Ryan Lauth, at info@nationalspeechchampionship.com for process details. 

 

Camera Tips

If possible, use natural light from a window directly in front of the performer. 

Use artificial light to supplement if the natural light is not directly in front or if you can not record during the day. 

Make sure the light behind the camera (directed at the performer) is much brighter than any lights behind the performer. 

Consider the hight and angle of the camera. Typically, one to two inches above 

performer eye level and angled down slightly toward the face is best. 

There are no limitations on what you do with a camera/mic/or 

lighting. You can create low-cost-high-quality productions pretty easily. 

Schedule

The schedule has been designed to maximize the community feel of the event and overall engagement. There will be less competiters than usual per section and the tournament has been collapsed to two flights. This means that some students may be entered in more events per flight than they would prefer. Those students are welcome to submit a recording in events that they do not think they will be able to make it to in time. 

 

All Times in Central 

Friday, March 19th 2021:

5:00pm-6:00pm- Early registration

6:00pm-7:00pm- Voluntary Coaches meeting

 

Saturday, March 20th 2021:

8:45am- Registration

9:30am- Extemp Draw

10:00am-Round 1B 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

11:30am-Round 1A 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

1:00pm- Round 2A 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

2:45pm- Extemp Draw

3:00pm- Round 2B 

(Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

3:15pm- Round 2B 

(Extemp)

4:15pm- A Quarter Finals Postings 

4:30pm- A Quarter Finals 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

5:45pm- B Quarter Finals Postings and Coverage

 

Sunday

10:00am- B Quarter Finals 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

11:15am- A Semi Finals Postings

11:30am- A Semi Finals 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

1:00pm- B Semi Finals Postings

1:15pm- B Semi Finals 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

2:30pm- A Finals Postings

2:45pm- A Finals 

(Impromptu, Poetry Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

4:00pm- B Finals Postings

4:15pm- B Finals 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

5:30pm - Live Coverage and Main Stage Entertainment 

6:30pm - Awards

 

Friday from 10am to 5pm will include live coverage, interviews with coaches and students, drop-ins on watch parties, interviews with former competitors, interactive experiences, live polling, face to face video networking, student and coach appreciation videos, and more.

Many of these production elements from Friday will be available on Saturday as well. More production elements will take place on the main stage both days of the weekend. The event has been designed to showcase the speech community. Teams are highly 

encouraged to invite alumni, campus community members, and anyone who will futher foster a culture of joy and appreciation. 

 

Please note that upon registration, teams will be sent requests for materials to be used when creating production elements. These are voluntary but will significantly enhance the feeling of community, engagement, and appreciation. The 2021 National Speech Championship will be a tournament celebrating students, coaches, and all friends of the activity. 

 

Event Descriptions

Extemporaneous Speaking

An extemporaneously delivered speech that answers a question based in current events. Students will have thirty minutes to prepare. Time signals will be provided during the speech. The maximum time limit for the speech is seven minutes. (Online specific instructions will be sent to registered teams)

 

Duo Performance

A performance by two students. The students should primarily maintain off stage focus. Original commentary by the students should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. (If partners decide to perform in the same physical space, it is expected that they follow their local COVID-19 best

preventative practices.)

 

Communication Analysis 

A speech that incorporates communication focused research to explore a communicative act. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

 

Prose Performance 

A performance of prose. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

 

Persuasive Speaking

A speech designed to persuade the audience to change their attitude, beliefs, values, or behavior. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

 

Informative Speaking

A speech designed to inform the audience. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

 

Program Performance

A performance that incorporates multiple genres of text. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes an argumentative justification for the collection of texts as well as the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

 

Impromptu Speaking

A speech delivered after minimal preparation time. The student will have seven minutes total to prepare and speak after being given a prompt. Time signals will be provided. The maximum time limit will be seven minutes. 

 

Poetry Performance

A performance of poetry. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

 

Dramatic Performance

A performance of material that was created specifically for live or broadcast presentation. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

 

After Dinner Speaking

A speech designed to use humor to make a point. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

 

Interviewing

Responses to typical questions posed by a judge/interviewer. The interview will be for placement in a specific organization. That organization will judge the final round and will offer a position at the company to the winner. The maximum time limit of the interview will vary by round. Preliminary rounds will be up to five minutes and elimination rounds will range from five to fifteen minutes. 

 

The National Champion of Interviewing will earn the offer of a position with The 180 Group, Inc. The 180 Group is a full service production company based out of New Jersey and Minnesota. This is the same company as last year and they are offering the opportunity again due to missing out last year. The position is for a four week summer internship at the Woodbury, MN office, just outside of St. Paul. The position will be paid and, if appropriate for the applicant, will include a housing stipend and airfare. Options will also be available to work from home. The final round of interviewing will be judged by a panel made up of representatives from the company. The company also reserves the right to offer a position to more than one competitor. It is recommended, but not required, that all participants share a copy of their resume with the judges in each round. 

 

If the student chooses to accept the position, that student will be a part of selecting highly paid keynote presenters, will get experience with professional presentation coaching, and will gain access to a professional speaker network. The student will gain experience with PowerPoint from design professionals, will see how graphic design interacts with video 

production, and will be a part of designing highly produced events 

 

Judge Policies

As has been done since the first National Speech Championship, the tournament will provide a full list of judges to all coaches during the week of the tournament and via speechwire (the Files to download section) on Friday evening. We ask that if your students have any conflicts with judges for non-competitive reasons that you let us know so we can block the judge from 

judging the student. This is an easy thing for us to do with Speechwire. Examples of when this could happen might include: the student is a family member/close friend of the judge, a student was harassed/assaulted by the judge, a student was a teammate of the judge, a student was coached by the judge. We absolutely respect the privacy of these decisions. Students can inform the tournament through their coach, or inform the tournament director directly at info@nationalspeechchampionship.com. The tournament director will not ask for details and does not expect any, we trust in the decision of the student. We hope that if a judge has participated in improper behavior that the tournament director be notified so that, if necessary, the judge can be removed from the judging pool before interacting with students, but it is not required if the student does not feel safe doing so. 

 

Judge Limitations

We ask that judges not judge students or teams they have coached for, competed for, or been paid by (including working at summer camps but not including judging at tournaments) in the last four years. These blocks should be noted in the judge notes section when entering judges on speechwire.

 

 With immense appreciation, you are invited to attend the fifth National Speech Championship on March 20th and 21st, 2021. 

This tournament will provide an opportunity for teams of all resource levels to once again compete for a national team championship. The competition will be incredible and opportunities for both individual and team placement will abound. Special congratulations to Ball State University for winning the 2019 National Speech Championship and to all teams who participated in last year’s Online Experience.

I am so very thankful to the hundreds of individuals who supported The National Speech Championship over the years by competing, coaching, running the tournament, and judging. I want to give an incredible thank you to Dawn Lowry at GMU who did so much work to host last year but did not have the 

opportunity to see all of you on the GMU campus. I also want to extend a thank you to all of you who will be joining us this year.

The 2021 tournament will be hosted online through Hopin.

Hopin entry link information will be sent to teams that enter the tournament. This platform allows for 

significant face to face video connections between rounds. It also provides the tools the production company needs to best offer professional quality event coverage. 

The tournament will be synchronous “live” but students will be given an option to submit recordings in place of live performance.

Entry Fees

There will be no charge for any entries covered by judges. Teams are asked to provide enough judges to cover their entry. Each judge will cover six entries. Hired judges will be available at a rate of $40 per uncovered entry. If this fee prevents any team from attending the tournament, that team may contact the tournament director, Ryan Lauth, at info@nationalspeechchampionship.com, for a fee waiver. The tournament is 

happy to provide this fee waiver as a means to support forensics participation around the nation. 

Entries will be due via Speechwire.com by March 10th --- If you can enter earlier, please do so!

Entry Limits

Each team will be allowed a maximum of two entries per event. A single student may enter in duo twice if each duo has a separate partner. A single student can be entered in each event, other than duo, only once. There are no flight restrictions for individual students, however judges will be asked not to wait for competitors past the beginning of the following round in order to keep the tournament on schedule. There will be no qualification process necessary for entry. 

The exception to the maximum limit is Interviewing. Each team may enter a maximum of five entries in Interviewing. Points will not be awarded for Interviewing.

Novice

Students in their first year of collegiate competition are allowed to be entered as novice on speechwire. They will compete in the open division but will be eligible for novice exhibition finals only if they do not advance in that event to open elimination rounds. There will be no ranking of the novice exhibition final rounds. Instead, a moderator will run the round and offer only feedback on ballots. Novice final round competitors will be recognized during the awards ceremony. There will be no points awarded for novice final rounds.

Scoring

No points will be earned in preliminary round competition. There will be two judges in each preliminary round. Elimination round placement will be determined based on each entry’s three best ranks. Only the highest placing entry from each team in each event will score points. Points will be determined by adding all of the elimination round placements along the following scale:

Quarter finals = 1point

Semi finals = 2points

6th place = 2 points

5th place = 4 points

4th place = 6 points

3rd place = 8 points

2nd place = 10 points 

1st place = 12 point 

A student winning an event will therefore earn 15 team points. 

Awards

Medals will be awarded to all elimination round competitors, including those in 

Interviewing. Traveling team trophies will be awarded to the top ten teams based upon points from elimination rounds. Each of these trophies will include the engraved names of the participating coaches and students from the team earning that trophy. 

The traveling team trophies will need to be returned to the tournament the following year. The top fifteen teams will also be awarded a team trophy that can be kept. 

A traveling team award will also be given to the team earning the most points in 

tournament history with points being reset to zero after winning. 

Recognition will also be given to the top three non-scholarship programs, the top three two year institutions, the top three programs directed by undergraduate students, and the top three programs directed by graduate students. 

Recording Limitations

There are no recording limitations. If a student wishes to submit a recording in the place of a live performance, the student is free to innovate or create without restriction. 

However, please remember that there are benefits and drawbacks to submitting a 

recording. From a competitive perspective, there is little evidence showing 

recordings are better or worse than live performance. Students should choose what is best for their individual situation. Students may choose to perform live in elim rounds after submitting a recording for prelims if they notify the tournament director of this plan prior to the tournament. Recordings will be submitted via speechwire. 

Limited Preparation Events

It is the expectation that limited preparation events be performed live. However, if a student must submit a recording in order to participate, please contact the tournament director, Ryan Lauth, at info@nationalspeechchampionship.com for process details. 

Camera Tips

If possible, use natural light from a window directly in front of the performer. 

Use artificial light to supplement if the natural light is not directly in front or if you can not record during the day. 

Make sure the light behind the camera (directed at the performer) is much brighter than any lights behind the performer. 

Consider the hight and angle of the camera. Typically, one to two inches above 

performer eye level and angled down slightly toward the face is best. 

There are no limitations on what you do with a camera/mic/or 

lighting. You can create low-cost-high-quality productions pretty easily. 

Schedule

The schedule has been designed to maximize the community feel of the event and overall engagement. There will be less competiters than usual per section and the tournament has been collapsed to two flights. This means that some students may be entered in more events per flight than they would prefer. Those students are welcome to submit a recording in events that they do not think they will be able to make it to in time. 

All Times in Central 

Friday, March 19th 2021:

5:00pm-6:00pm- Early registration

6:00pm-7:00pm- Voluntary Coaches meeting

Saturday, March 20th 2021:

8:45am- Registration

9:30am- Extemp Draw

10:00am-Round 1B 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

11:30am-Round 1A 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

1:00pm- Round 2A 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

2:45pm- Extemp Draw

3:00pm- Round 2B 

(Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

3:15pm- Round 2B 

(Extemp)

4:15pm- A Quarter Finals Postings 

4:30pm- A Quarter Finals 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

5:45pm- B Quarter Finals Postings and Coverage

Sunday

10:00am- B Quarter Finals 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

11:15am- A Semi Finals Postings

11:30am- A Semi Finals 

(Impromptu, Poetry, Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

1:00pm- B Semi Finals Postings

1:15pm- B Semi Finals 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

2:30pm- A Finals Postings

2:45pm- A Finals 

(Impromptu, Poetry Drama, ADS, Info, Program)

4:00pm- B Finals Postings

4:15pm- B Finals 

(Extemp, Duo, CA, Interviewing, Prose, Persuasion)

5:30pm - Live Coverage and Main Stage Entertainment 

6:30pm - Awards

Friday from 10am to 5pm will include live coverage, interviews with coaches and 

students, drop-ins on watch parties, 

interviews with former competitors, 

interactive experiences, live polling, face to face video networking, student and coach appreciation videos, and more.

Many of these production elements from Friday will be available on Saturday as well. More production elements will take place on the main stage both days of the weekend.

The event has been designed to showcase the speech community. Teams are highly 

encouraged to invite alumni, campus 

community members, and anyone who will futher foster a culture of joy and 

appreciation. 

Please note that upon registration teams will be sent requests for materials to be used when creating production elements. These are voluntary but will significantly enhance the feeling of community, engagement, and appreciation. 

The 2021 National Speech Championship will be a tournament celebrating students, coaches, and all friends of the activity. 

Event Descriptions

Extemporaneous Speaking

An extemporaneously delivered speech that answers a question based in current events. Students will have thirty minutes to prepare. Time signals will be provided during the speech. The maximum time limit for the speech is seven minutes. (Online specific instructions will be sent to registered teams)

Duo Performance

A performance by two students. The students should primarily maintain off stage focus. Original commentary by the students should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. (If partners decide to perform in the same physical space, it is expected that they follow their local COVID-19 best preventative practices.)

Communication Analysis 

A speech that incorporates communication focused research to explore a communicative act. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

Prose Performance 

A performance of prose. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

Persuasive Speaking

A speech designed to persuade the audience to change their attitude, beliefs, values, or behavior. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

Informative Speaking

A speech designed to inform the audience. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

Program Performance

A performance that incorporates multiple genres of text. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes an argumentative justification for the collection of texts as well as the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

Impromptu Speaking

A speech delivered after minimal preparation time. The student will have seven minutes total to prepare and speak after being given a prompt. Time signals will be provided. The maximum time limit will be seven 

minutes. 

Poetry Performance

A performance of poetry. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

Dramatic Performance

A performance of material that was created specifically for live or broadcast presentation. Original commentary by the student should be provided that includes the title and author of any text used in the performance. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes.

After Dinner Speaking

A speech designed to use humor to make a point. The maximum time limit will be ten minutes. 

Interviewing

Responses to typical questions posed by a judge/interviewer. The interview will be for placement in a specific organization. That organization will judge the final round and will offer a position at the company to the winner. The maximum time limit of the interview will vary by round. 

Preliminary rounds will be up to five minutes and elimination rounds will range from five to fifteen minutes. 

The National Champion of Interviewing will earn the offer of a position with The 180 Group, Inc. The 180 Group is a full service production company based out of New Jersey and Minnesota. This is the same company as last year and they are offering the opportunity again due to missing out last year. The position is for a four week summer internship at the Woodbury, MN office, just outside of St. Paul. The position will be paid and, if appropriate for the applicant, will include a housing stipend and airfare. Options will also be available to work from home. The final round of interviewing will be judged by a panel made up of representatives from the company. The 

company also reserves the right to offer a position to more than one competitor. It is recommended, but not required, that all participants share a copy of their resume with the judges in each round. 

If the student chooses to accept the position, that student will be a part of selecting highly paid keynote presenters, will get experience with professional presentation coaching, and will gain access to a professional speaker network. The student will gain experience with PowerPoint from design professionals, will see how graphic design interacts with video 

production, and will be a part of designing highly produced events 

Judge Policies

As has been done since the first National Speech Championship, the tournament will provide a full list of judges to all coaches during the week of the tournament and via speechwire (the Files to download section) on Friday evening. We ask that if your students have any conflicts with judges for non-competitive reasons that you let us know so we can block the judge from 

judging the student. This is an easy thing for us to do with Speechwire. Examples of when this could happen might include: the student is a family member/close friend of the judge, a 

student was harassed/assaulted by the judge, a student was a teammate of the judge, a student was coached by the judge. We absolutely respect the privacy of these decisions. Students can inform the tournament through their coach, or inform the tournament director directly at 

info@nationalspeechchampionship.com. The tournament director will not ask for details and does not expect any, we trust in the decision of the student. We hope that if a judge has 

participated in improper behavior that the tournament director be notified so that, if necessary, the judge can be removed from the judging pool before interacting with students, but it is not required if the student does not feel safe doing so. 

Judge Limitations

We ask that judges not judge students or teams they have coached for, competed for, or been paid by (including working at summer camps but not including judging at tournaments) in the last four years. These blocks should be noted in the judge notes section when entering judges on speechwire.

Manager contact information

Ryan Lauth
Email address: lauthrs@gmail.com
Phone number:

Mailing address

None provided

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