The 2012 CDL Speech Performance Competition Announcements

Competition Specifics

The Chicago Debate League will hold its first-ever Speech Performance Competition on Saturday, May 19th, at Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd.

The Chicago Debate Commission has provided a fuller overview for the competition, explaining why it is being conducted and what we hope it will achieve.

Here is the list of participating schools.

Michele Clark
South Shore

Because of two recent cancellations, there is room for one possibly two additional schools. Contact the CDC if you’re interested.

Schools participating receive $300 in compensation, paid (unless we’re instructed otherwise) to the coach leading the effort at the school site.

There will be cash prizes given to the top speakers in each forensics event, provided by the event’s sponsor, Allstate.

  • First Place: $100
  • Second Place: $75
  • Third Place: $50
  • Fourth Place: $25

Registration for the competition is due on Friday, May 11th. Three registration guidelines pertain:

  • Schools should register 8 or more speakers
  • Schools should register at least 2 speakers in each “event” (original oratory and extemp)
  • At least 50% of a school’s registrants should be new to the CDL (not current debaters)

Register by completing the official 2012 CDL Speech Competition Registration Form back to Les by Friday, May 11th.

Training and Preparation Resources

Tracy Repa, Director of Forensics at Buffalo Grove HS, made an excellent and very helpful presentation at the Coach Training on April 14th. She covered these two very useful handouts on the forensics “events” original oratory and extemporaneous speaking.

Frank Cassata, senior at Buffalo Grove HS and veteran forensics competitor, demonstrated an extemporaneous speech at our Coach Training on April 14th. Frank’s speech was on the question, “Is the Iowa Caucus’s importance in the presidential nomination process exaggerated?”

Jacob Caster, junior at Buffalo Grove HS and an IHSA-ranked speaker, demonstrated an original oration at the same training.

Note: these examples and all of the additional resources and links are provided for ideas and illustrations, but are not meant to determine stylistic, presentation, or content choices. One of the reasons the CDL is holding this speech performance competition is to give our students more freedom to speak about issues of importance to them, in an idiom in which they feel most comfortable.

Because this is the first speech competition being conducted by the Chicago Debate League, we are allowing students to use note cards without penalty — so original orations and extemporaneous speeches do not need to be memorized.

Additional Links: Original Oratory

The National Forensic League (NFL) has produced a video presentation on judging original oratory and on its rules.

The 2010 National Forensic League National Championship 1st Place Original Oration (Vinay Nayak)

The 2010 National Forensic League National Championship 2nd Place Original Oration (Miles Bridges)

The 2012 Emory Barkley Forum Original Oratory Tutorial

The American Legion runs a national oratory contest very similar to the NFL’s. Here’s the 2007 National Championship Oration (Co’Relous Bryant).

The original oratory ballot that will be used in the CDL Speech Performance Competition.

SpeechGeek is a website catering to . . . well, the name says it all.

Additional Links: Extemporaneous Speaking

The National Forensic League (NFL) has produced a video presentation on judging extemporaneous speaking and on its rules.

The NFL also has posted a small set of videos featuring panel discussions among experienced extemp coaches about how students should be prepared for extemporaneous speaking and what makes for excellence in extemp. One of the videos (clearly labeled) features the former national champion in extemporaneous speaking, and one of President Obama’s top economic advisers, Austan Goolsbee, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

A short showcase of extemporaneous speaking also includes a brief overview of this event.

The extemporaneous speaking ballot that will be used in the CDL Speech Performance Competition.

ExtempCentral is a website featuring news and information from and for the extemp national circuit

Extemporaneous Speaking Topics

These are the three topics that will be used at the 2012 Speech Performance Competition. Each topic will have three questions — each taking a particular angle on the topic and giving it a focus. Extemporaneous speakers will draw two of the nine questions 30 minutes before each round, and they will choose one for their speech.

Please take a look at our Extemp Topic Background Reading Links to help prepare for these draws.

2012 Presidential Election

Higher Education

Social Media

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