Speech and Debate Competition

Every year, the Department of Communication hosts the Speech and Debate Competition on campus. All Indiana Tech students (Traditional Day, CPS, and online) are encouraged to compete, and industry professionals judge events. Competitors should dress professionally.

Participants must select an event listed below and email Dr. Alicia Wireman, akwireman@indianatech.edu, with their name and event to register.

Registration ends on February 1, 2019.

This year’s competition will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019, in the Snyder Academic Center. Check-in begins at 8 a.m., and competitors must be arrive before 8:30 a.m. to check-in. First round begins at 9 a.m., and the Awards Ceremony should begin at 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided.


Each competitor will participate in three rounds of his/her selected event, and the judge ranks the competitors in each round. All of the competitors’ scores are tabulated, and the top six competitors in each event will then compete in a Final Round for three judges. The three judges in the Final Round rank the competitors. The Final Round competitors’ scores for all three initial rounds as well as their Final Round ranks are tabulated to determine final placements and the winners.


1st Place: First place winners in each event will receive a prize valued at $150.00 and a first-place ribbon.
2nd Place: Second place winners in each event will receive a prize valued at $50.00 and a second-place ribbon.
3rd-6th Place: The remaining placements in each event will receive a ribbon.

Speech Events

Original Oratory

In this event, competitors deliver an original, 10-12 minute speech on a topic of their choice. The intent is to inform or persuade the audience on a topic of significance. This event allows students to present their voice and passion on a topic.

Participants should craft an argument using evidence, logic, and emotional appeals, verbally citing sources and materials appropriately. The speech is delivered from memory without visual aids or notes.

Students are judged on poise, posture, articulation, voice, speech content, time, eye contact, and non-verbal communication.

Example of Original Oratory:

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Impromptu is an event where participants are given a topic, and they have 5 minutes to brainstorm, outline, and deliver a speech. The speech is given without notes and uses an introduction, body, and conclusion. The speech can be light-hearted or serious. Impromptu allows a competitor to form a thesis on a prompt and use supporting information for that thesis. Impromptu speeches range from 4-6 minutes.

Students are judged on poise, posture, articulation, voice, speech content, time, eye contact, and non-verbal communication.

Example of Impromptu:

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Lincoln-Douglas Debate

In this one-on-one format, students are given a topic to debate. Students gather evidence prior to the competition and may not use the Internet during the round. The debate is roughly 45 minutes and consists of speeches, rebuttals, and cross-examination.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate is for those individuals who like to debate and explore questions regarding how society ought to be since questions of morality and justice are commonly examined. Students prepare cases and then engage in cross-examinations and rebuttals to convince the judge that he/she is the better debater. Students must prepare both the affirmative and negative cases to the issue.

2019 Debate Topic: First responders’ use of Narcan in opioid overdoses

Structure of Debate:

Speech Time Limit Purpose
Affirmative Constructive 6 minutes Present the affirmative case
Negative Cross-Examination 3 minutes Negative asks questions of the affirmative
Negative Constructive 7 minutes Present the negative case and refute the affirmative case
Affirmative Cross-Examination 3 minutes Affirmative asks questions of the negative
First Affirmative Rebuttal 4 minutes Refute the negative case and rebuild the affirmative case
Negative Rebuttal 6 minutes Refute the affirmative case, rebuild the negative case, and offer reasons that negative should win the round, commonly referred to as voting issues.
2nd Affirmative Rebuttal 3 minutes Address negative voting issues and offer reasons for why the affirmative should win.

*Each debater is also entitled to four minutes of prep time during the round.

Example of Lincoln-Douglas Debate:

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