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.
- 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