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Speech & Debate Resources

We understand that for parents who are new to speech and debate, the world of competitive public speaking can seem a little intimidating. We believe that parents have a critical role to play in their child's success, and we offer resources and guidance to help them become more informed and supportive advocates. That's why we've put together a range of resources on this page so that parents can educate themselves and better support their child throughout the speech and debate journey. We believe that by providing parents with the right tools and information, we can work together to create a complete educational experience for our students.

What is Speech & Debate
at The Village School?

Goal: Refining public speaking, acting, and debating abilities through competition

Speech and Debate involves:

  • Traveling to tournaments locally and nationally

  • Attending weekly meetings

  • Practicing and preparing year-round

What is Speech & Debate?


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 general categories of speech events, public address/platform events and interpretive events. Platform events feature a speech written by the student, either in advance or with limited prep, that can answer a question, share a belief, persuade an audience, or educate the listener on a variety of topics. Interpretation events center upon a student selecting and performing published material and appeal to many who enjoy acting and theatre. 


Debate involves an individual or a team of students working to effectively convince a judge that their side of a resolution or topic is, as a general principle, more valid. Students in debate come to thoroughly understand both sides of an issue, having researched each extensively, and learn to think critically about every argument that could be made on each side.

interp events

Dramatic Interpretation (DI)​

Duo Interpretation (DUO)

Duet Acting (DUET) ***

Duo Improvisation (DIMP)

Humorous Interpretation (HI)

Program Oral Interpretation (POI)

Poetry (POE)

Prose (PRO) ***

Storytelling (STO) ***

platform events

Declamation (DEC)​ ***

Impromptu (IMP)

Informative Speaking (INF)

Original Oratory (OO)

Original Spoken Word Poetry (OSWP) ***

Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking (USX)

International Extemporaneous Speaking (IX)

debate events

extra events

TV Commercial ***

Radio Broadcasting ***

Lip Sync ***

Vocals ***

Congressional Debate ( House & Senate) (CON)

Lincoln-Douglas Debate (LD)

Public Forum Debate (PF)

World Schools Debate (WS)

*** Middle School Event Only

***High School Supplemental Events (not a main event category)

Additional Resources

The Village School's Speech and Debate Youtube Channel uploads performances from students and resources for anyone interested in learning how to judge. 

Documentation on speech and debate events, sample ballots, how to judge procedures, procedures, and more. A "judging binder" can be printed at your request for you to pick up. 

Comprehensive training video on judging speech and debate

The National Speech and Debate Association serves as the national authority on public speaking and debate.  NSDA provides competitive speech and debate activities, resources, comprehensive training, and scholarship opportunities. An account is needed to earn/record points to compete at Nationals.

Tournament Procedures, Rules, and Judging Instructions

Parent info session about Speech and Debate Team

Quick overview video of different events in debate

Tournament management system used by speech and debate tournaments worldwide. All students must have an account in order to compete. All judges including volunteer judges must also have an account. 

Tournament Procedures, Rules, and Judging Instructions

How can you get involved and the volunteer merit system

Quick overview video of different events in speech

Degree Levels

As students become a member of the National Forensic League Honor Society and earn points, they also earn new Honor Society degrees. Degrees recognize progress, provide motivation, and offer distinction. Each time a new degree is earned, members are mailed a corresponding seal for their custom membership certificate to be kept as a keepsake or displayed at school. 

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