Downloadable PDF of the Tournament Rules
Competitors will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Profanity and abuse will result in immediate rejection and disqualification from the Tournament and could also result in legal action.
Presentations containing religious, political, sexual, discriminatory, profanity, vulgarity, pornography or pornographic language, other obscenities or otherwise controversial/offensive content will be disqualified.
The Tournament is conducted in English only.
The speech must be thematic in nature (opening, body, and close), not a series of one-liners.
Competitors must prepare their own speeches. Each speech must be substantially original.
Twenty-five percent or less of the speech may be devoted to quoting, paraphrasing, or referencing another person’s content. Any quoted, paraphrased, or referenced content must be so identified during the presentation.
The Tournament Organizers will appoint a:
All Competitors will speak from the same area designated by the Tournament Chair.
All Competitors (Speakers and Coaches) and the Chief Judge will be advised of the speaking area before the Tournament begins.
A lectern will be available. Use of the lectern is optional.
If necessary, an appropriate microphone shall be made available.
Competitors are responsible for arranging their preferred setup of the lectern, microphone, props, technology and other equipment in a quiet manner during the three (3) minutes of silence between Competitor speeches. Competitors may enlist the Tournament stage hand to help them with props.
Competitors will be informed of the speaking order prior to the Tournament.
Before the Tournament, Competitors will be briefed on the rules by the Tournament Chair. If a Competitor is absent from the briefing the Competitor will be disqualified.
Before the Tournament, the Time Keepers will be briefed on their duties by the Chief Judge. Time Keepers will receive the Tournament Time Record Sheet and Instruction for Time Keepers.
There will be three (3) minutes of silence between Competitor speeches, during which the Coaches will mark the scores for the Competitor. All Coaches will evaluate all Competitors; the Chief Judge does not evaluate Competitors.
When the last Competitor finishes speaking, the Tournament Chair will ask for silence until all Coaches have competed marking the scores.
After the final speaker in the group has completed their speech each speaker will hear an evaluation of their presentation by one of the coaches.
Each coach will present a three (3) minute evaluation of a designated speaker assigned by Tournament officials. Coaches will be evaluated by the eight (8) speakers.
All scores will be tallied.
The four (4) speakers and the four (4) coaches who receive the highest scores move to the next round.
Speeches must be between four (4) minutes and 30 seconds and five (5) minutes and 15 seconds.
Evaluations must be between three (3) minutes and three (3) minutes and 15 seconds.
Upon being introduced, the Competitor shall proceed immediately to the speaking position. Timing will begin with the Competitor’s first definite verbal or nonverbal communication with the audience. This usually will be the first word uttered by the Competitor, but would include any other communication such as sound effects, a staged act by another person, etc.
The speaker should begin speaking within a short time after arriving at the speaking area, and is not permitted to delay the Tournament unnecessarily.
Any visually impaired Competitor is permitted to request and must be granted a form of warning signal of his or her own choosing. Acceptable warning signals would include, but not be limited to: a buzzer, a bell, or a person announcing the times for Competitors in the Speaking Division.
If any special device for such signal is required, it is the Competitor’s responsibility to provide any and all devices.
All devices must be pre-approved by the Tournament Organizers.
In the event of technical failure of the signal or timing equipment a green and a red card will be held up.
Competitors who plan to use props (including any sort of electronic device), must notify the Tournament Chair prior to the Tournament.
All devices/props must be pre-approved by the Tournament Organizers.
Competitors must abide by any venue restrictions on the use of props. All props must be set up during the three (3) minutes of silence prior to the Competitor’s speech and removed from the stage in the three (3) minutes of silence following the speech. Competitors may enlist the Tournament stage hand to help them with props.
Competitors must demonstrate to the Tournament Chair prior to the Tournament that the props can be set up and removed in the allotted times. If a Competitor is unable to demonstrate this, the props cannot be used during the Tournament.
Competitors may not use digital or other devices during the Tournament to gain an unfair advantage.
The four Competitors who advance to the final round must present an entirely new and different speech than any they presented during the first three rounds of the Tournament.
The final four coaches will be evaluated by the final four speakers.
No-one will be allowed to enter or leave the room during any presentation.
The taking of any photographs and/or videos or recording with any device during the Tournament is strictly prohibited. Anyone doing so will be asked to leave immediately!