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Competitive Events - Girl on Stage at a Tournament

Speech involves a presentation by one or two students that is judged against a similar type of presentation by others in a round of competition. There are two categories of speech events, public address events and interpretive events. 

Public Address Events

Public address events feature a speech written by the student that can address a variety of topics. 

Main NSDA Events

Original Oratory

Extemporaneous Speaking

Informative Speaking

Supplemental or Regional Events




Mixed Extemp



In Extemporaneous Speaking, or Extemp, students are presented with a choice of three questions related to current events and, in 30 minutes, prepare a seven-minute speech delivered from memory answering the selected question.

There are two types of Extemp, International (also known as IX or Foreign Extemp), which focuses on international current events and United States (also known as USX or Domestic Extemp), which focuses on domestic issues. 

What’s unique about Extemp?

Students report to a draw room prior to the start of each round to draw topic slips and prepare. With limited preparation, students who succeed in Extemp spend significant time reading a variety of news sources and keeping up with current events. 


Informative Speaking

In Informative Speaking, students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. The speech is delivered from memory. An Informative is not simply an essay about the topic— it is a well researched and organized presentation with evidence, logic, and sometimes humor to convey a message. Given students may be doing Informative for the entirety of the school year, they will want to find a topic that they can keep fresh and engaging for extended periods of time and that is current and relatable to audience members. 

What’s unique about Informative Speaking?

It is the only NSDA main event in which students write a speech designed to educate, not to advocate or persuade. Plus, it allows for visual aids!  


Original Oratory

In Original Oratory, students deliver a self-written, ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Limited in their ability to quote words directly, competitors craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals. Students who write orations should think seriously about a topic that is of personal interest and significance to them. Topics range widely and can be informative or persuasive in nature. The speech is delivered from memory.

What’s unique about Original Oratory?

Students have an opportunity to suggest solutions to some of society’s biggest questions and problems.