The World Individuals Debating and Public Speaking Championship operates under a specific set of Rules. A full version can be found from the official website. The rules are succinctly summarized below.

General Rules

  • Competitors take part on an individual basis in 4 events (1 in each category)
  • Speeches should be original and not plagiarized. All published material included must be attributed.
  • No material can have been used in competitions prior to 1st Jan of the competition year.
  • Usually, the same material is used in all rounds. Different materials are allowed but get no additional marks.
  • As long as you are within time, the length of a speech in any category makes no difference.

Category One: Debating

  • Each debate has 2 teams of 2 randomly paired debaters.
  • 2 motions are released 45 minutes before the debate. 1 team chooses the topic, the other chooses the sides.
  • 10 minutes to clarify the motion and agree on a definition.
    • Definition should be reasonable and reflective of the spirit of the motion.
    • Definition challenges can only be made before the debate, to relevant officials.
  • 35 minutes to prepare as a team for the debate.
    • No coaching or external material is permitted except a dictionary
  • A model is not required, but applicable in many debates.
    • Any model must be clearly explained by 1st prop
    • A counter plan may be presented at 1st opp only.
    • The debate then is about which plan is better.
  • Each speaker has a total of 9 minutes speaking time with a 30 second grace period (Prop 1st then Opp)
    • 1st Speakers – 6 min
    • 2nd Speakers – 9 min
    • 1st Speakers Summary – 3 min
  • Points can be raised by standing and saying “Point of order/privilege/information”
    • Points of order is when a rule is broken
    • Points of privilege is if you are significantly misrepresented or personally insulted
      • Points of order and privilege are excluded from speaking time
      • When raised, the speaker must stop, the point briefly stated and the chair states “point noted”
      • The judges will decide if it should be considered but decision is not indicated during the debate.
    • Points of information are a single question around 15 second posed to the speaker
      • Points of information are included in speaking time
      • Speeches have 1 minute protected time either end and should only take 2 POIs
      • Speakers can accept (yes, question posed) or decline (no, questioner sits down)
  • Judging will look for clash, spontaneity, logic, wit, content and teamwork.

Category Two: Impromptu Speaking

  • Every speaker has a choice of 3 topics (a word, a quotation or a phrase) which is stated after the speech.
  • No notes or prepared material can be used.
  • Speakers have 2 minute to prepare (notes can be written, but cannot be used when speaking)
  • Speakers have 3-5 minutes to speak with a 15 seconds grace period and the following penalties
    • Under 2.45 – 10 marks; 5.16 to 5.30 – 2 marks; 5.31 to 6.00 – 5 marks; Above 6.01 – 10 marks
  • The majority of the speech must be in first person although references to others may be made.
  • Wit, humour, philosophy, sentiment, agility of thought, organizational are all necessary.
  • Judges are ultimately look form the ability of speakers to communicate with style and originality.

Category Three: Interpretive Reading

  • Competitors read either a novel, short story or poetry of literary merit.
    • Student authored stories in school publications or sample essays in workbooks are excluded.
    • Material intended for children will be judged stringently as it is more simple and easier reading.
  • The reading should not be a speech from a play or a dramatic monologue.
  • Props may not be used but appropriate facial expression and gestures can be used.
  • Key judging emphasis is on the reader’s use of voice not visual appearance.
  • The piece should be 5 to 10 minutes (included optional 1 min introduction) with the following penalties
    • Under 5.00 – 10 marks; 11.01 to 11.30 – 2 marks; 11.31 to 12.00 – 5 marks; Above 12.01 – 10 marks
  • The optional introduction should provide the context of reading and reasons for its choice.
  • A conclusion is optional whether it completes a narrative, leaves suspense or summarizes the ending.

Category Four: Persuasive Speaking (Option A)

  • Speeches are designed to persuade the audience about a serious, modern issue.
  • The speech should be in a problem-solution format not a political stance
  • 5″ x 3″ cue-cards may be used.
  • Each speech should be about 10 minutes long with a 3 minute grace and with the following penalties
    • Under 7.00 – 10 marks; 13.01 to 13.30 – 2 marks; 13.31 to 14.00 – 5 marks; Above 14.01 – 10 marks

Category Four: After-Dinner Speaking (Option B)

  • The speech should be addressed towards an audience, stated at the start or made explicit in the speech.
  • Props cannot be used although 5″ x 3″ cue-cards may be used.
  • Speeches should entertain as well as inform as if being delivered from the top table after a dinner.
  • While humor is encouraged, the content must be relevant to the imaginary audience.
  • Each speech should be 5-7 minutes with the following penalties.
    • Under 5.00 – 10 marks; 7.01 to 7.30 – 2 marks; 7.31 to 8.00 – 5 marks; Above 8.01 – 10 marks