The Chicago Debate League will hold its first-ever Speech Performance Competition on Saturday, May 19th, at Westinghouse College Prep. This is our league’s first tournament in what is known as forensics – individually performed speech events, also called “IE” or “speech.” Forensic events, like policy debate, are part of competitive speech and debate across the country.

Our events
The competition will include two speech events: original oratory and extemporaneous speaking. In original oratory, the speaker delivers an original speech on any topic, up to 8 minutes long. Usually the speech identifies a problem and a proposed solution — but always aims to move the audience to action or to revising their thinking about the issue.
Extemporaneous speaking focuses on three topics already announced.  At the event itself, the speaker “draws” a specific question on one of the topics 30 minutes before the round. The speaker then has 30 minutes to prepare a 7-minute speech answering the question.

The extemporaneous speaking topics at the 2012 Speech Performance Competition are:

  • 2012 Presidential Election
  • Higher Education
  • Social Media

Why are we doing it?
Forensics offers students the opportunity to refine their public speaking style and oratorical skills. With the addition of competitive speech, the CDL is broadening its scope to include more Chicago public school students. In fact, at least half of the students participating in this event have not debated at any CDL tournaments this school year.


WHERE: George Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd., 60624
WHEN: Saturday, May 19th, 9am – 3:30pm (including awards ceremony)

Interested in judging?  Contact Les Lynn at leslynn [at]

There will be an on-site (Westinghouse College Prep) judge orientation for judges new to speech competitions at 8:15am, May 19th.

More info for coaches and judges here and here.

Michele Clark
South Shore