Other Oration Events


Purpose of a Declamation Speech

Declamation, also referred to as Oratorical Declamation, Oratorical Interpretation, or simply Dec is delivery of a previously given speech through the student’s interpretation. The student may choose to work with an address that has been provided by a famous person such as a past president or public figure, or can consider something less well-known but worthwhile.

Other than an introduction, the Dec speech is given verbatim from the original. However, the expression is cut to an appropriate length to fit the time restraints of the contest. In preparation for a declamation contest, the student analyzes the piece and interprets the language of the literature. Then, the student memorizes the work and performs it as powerfully and truthfully possible as an interpretation of the text. A good declamation speech must possess merit for the language used and not be dependent upon the performance of the original orator.

Structure of an Oratorical Declamation

Usually, the speaker will present the first minute or two of the speech, and then, at a natural break point, the student will give the essential introduction for the piece. The intro is the only part of the speech that is written by the contestant and should be written carefully for effect. The introduction to a declamation piece should include the name of the author, the title, and any necessary information to understand the speech and to set the tone for the remainder of the speaker’s delivery and interpretation.

During the speech, the student uses body language, facial expressions, and movement are to enhance the delivery and impact of the address. The more that the student can coordinate actions during the speech with the words of the text, the more effective the presentation will be. Likewise, facial impressions and gestures are used to convey the meaning and impact of the piece.

Again, the speech must be memorized to avoid deduction in points, and must not exceed the time limit in the rules of the tournament, usually 10 minutes. Sometimes, a declamation speaker might want to use an Original Oratory (OO) piece from a past competition. Using a prior work prepared for competing is usually discouraged because it was not a message delivered to the populace. Be aware of the policy of the tournament before using an OO piece.

What is a Declamation Speech? More Links:

Dramatic Improvisation

Dramatic Improvisation students may compete individually or in pairs depending on the competition. Very few, if any, of our local Georgia tournaments, offer this event, but when available, improv provides an excellent opportunity for fun by acting out scenes “on the spot” with limited preparation. This event has been offered at times by Warner Robins High School at their Spring tournament, and at times Dramatic Improv may be available when our team travels out of state.

Rules for Dramatic Improv Competition

In competitive improvisation at a speech and debate tournament, contestants draw from three dramatic situations then choose one. After selecting the topic, students have one minute to plan the performance and then five minutes to perform.

If you have ever dreamed of being on Saturday night live or enjoyed the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway hosted by Drew Carey, then you will like dramatic improvisation.

Video: Improv comedy will change the world | Jennifer Hunter | TEDxLSSU