Aurora University is home to a speech and debate forensics team (Spartan Speech) that offers both new and experienced competitors opportunities to compete in intercollegiate debate and individual speaking events.
The team competes in four major categories: Interpretation, Public Address, Limited Preparation and Debate. Members have the opportunity to compete in any of the following events:
Interpretation events are similar to acting. In this category you find poetry, prose, drama and duo (which is like drama, but with a partner). You take someone else's work, and perform it. Usually, these are works by newer authors that your audience might not have heard of.
- Prose - Speaker presents a program of prose literature. Original introductory comments and transitional remarks are permitted. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Plays are not permitted. Manuscripts are required.
- Poetry - Speakers present a program of poetic literature. Original introductory comments and transitional remarks are permitted. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Manuscripts are required.
- Dramatic Interpretation - The contestant will perform dramatic literature, humorous or serious, that represents one or more characters from material of literary merit. This material may be drawn from stage, screen or radio. Programs may consist of single or multiple selections. Manuscripts are required.
- Dramatic Duo - A cutting from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. This is not an acting event. Thus, costumes, props, etc. are not permitted. Presentation must be from manuscript and focus should be off stage.
Public Address Events
Public Address events are similar to speeches you might have prepared for a class. They last around 8 to 10 minutes, and are manuscript, meaning you write them out word for word, and then memorize them.
- Informative Speaking - An original factual speech on a realistic subject to fulfill a general information need of the audience.
- Persuasive Speaking - A speech to convince, to move to action, or to inspire on a significant issue, delivered from memory.
- After Dinner Speaking (Speech to Entertain)- An original speech whose purpose is to make a serious point through the use of humor. The speech should reflect the development of a humorous comedic effort, not a stand up comedy routine.
- Communication Criticism - An original critical analysis of any significant communication artifact. Any legitimate critical methodology is permissible as long as it serves to open up the artifact for the audience.
Limited Preparation Events
Limited preparation events are events where you draw a topic at the tournament and then have a short amount of time to prepare and present a speech.
- Extemporaneous Speaking - For each round, contestants will select one of three topics on current national and international events. The contestant will have thirty minutes to prepare a five to seven minute speech on the topic selected.
- Impromptu Speaking - Speakers receive short excerpts dealing with items of general interest, political, economic, and social issues. The contestant will have a total of seven minutes to divide between preparation and speaking.
Debate involves the systematic inquiry and advocacy around a given proposition.
- Lincoln- Douglas (LD) Debate - Lincoln-Douglas debate on the intercollegiate level is one-on-one policy debate.
- Parliamentary Debate - Parliamentary debate is an audience-centered form of two-person debate. In each debate, two students will represent the government side (or the side supporting the resolution), while two students will represent the opposition side (or the side negating the resolution). Students are expected to present arguments supporting their side while refuting arguments of the other team. Parliamentary debate is based loosely on the British model of parliament.
Members of the Aurora University forensics team have the opportunity to travel locally, statewide and nationally. As a co-curricular activity, dedicated members can earn academic credit for participation in the forensics program (see Directors of Forensics for more information).
To learn more about Aurora University's speech and debate team, contact us at email@example.com or 630-844-5614.
What Are You Exptected to Do as a Member of the Spartan Speech Team?
How much time you devote to the forensics team is up to you. Some students might choose to go to only one tournament a semester and only focus on doing one to two events really well. Other students might choose to travel quite a bit more, and take on five to six events. Your commitment level is determined by you.
What Is It Like to Compete in College Forensics as a Member of the Spartan Speech Team?
AU's forensics team travels to competitions at other universities and colleges (mainly we travel to close tournaments in the midwest). Students on the team prepare speeches to deliver (for the majority of events, you'll have the same speech all year long). Students compete in preliminary rounds, and then the top students advance to elimination rounds (e.g. quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals). Most tournaments take place over the course of one day, but we often travel to swing tournaments, which are two tournaments held on the same campus, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Meet the Spartan Speech Team Coaches
The speech and debate forensics team at AU is co-directed by Dr. Toby J. Arquette and Prof. Kelly Roush.
As coaches for the team, in addition to traveling with the team, we help the team prepare for competitions. We do this by helping students find topics and pieces for performance, and also assist in the writing process as students are composing their speeches. We don't write speeches for team members, but we will help you edit them, revise them and find resources.
Dr. Arquette (Associate Professor, Communication Department) is nationally recognized as a leading director and former competitor in intercollegiate forensics. As a competitor, Dr. Arquette won numerous national intercollege debate tournaments, finish top speaker and top team. As a coach, Dr. Arquette has coached numerous teams that have gone on to win national championships in speech and debate. Feel free to contact Dr. Arquette at 530-8544-5614 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Prof. Roush (Assistant Professor, Art and Theatre Department) is an acclaimed thespian, having played Catherine in Proof, Becca in Rabbit Hole, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Masha in The Seagull. In addition to performing, she has worked as a producer, director, writer, collaborator and educator around the country. Feel free to contact Prof. Roush at 630-844-6197 or by email at email@example.com.|