Your Guide to Forensics Events

I realized that in this blog I tell y’all who breaks in which event, but I haven’t talked about each event individually. So what is extemp? DI? POI?

Fair warning, some of these events deal with serious topics. They can be emotionally triggering. I will not use direct quotations from those that I feel could do so. It is just the nature of forensics…

For starters, I like to divide the events into 3 categories:

Platform Speeches


Limited Prep

Let’s start with Platform Speeches. The events include: After-Diner Speaking (ADS), Informative Speaking (Inform), Persuasive Speaking (Persuade), and Communication Analysis (CA).


After-Diner Speaking (ADS): ADS is a humorous speech with a serious purpose (usually persuasive in nature). Most of the time, an ADS is more funny than it is persuasive. It is about letting the jokes hit while also advocating for change in the speech. This year, Juliana Ness is doing her ADS on sexual assault in the restaurant industry.

Informative Speaking (Inform): Inform sounds pretty self-explanatory. The speech is meant to inform the audience. However, the topic is key. The topic should be something new and current. Such as new technology, science, or discoveries. Informs should not be about something the general public already knows about. This year, I am doing an Inform on RNS treatment for epilepsy.

Persuasive Speaking (Persuade): Again, this one is just about what it sounds like. Persuades are persuasive speeches. However, what makes Persuade different from ADS is that persuades are meant to be serious the entire time (with a joke inserted here and there). This year, John Wallis’ persuade is on refugee reassignment.

Communication Analysis (CA): This event is tough to describe. Basically, someone picks an “artifact” and connects it to a communication theory. Laurel is doing a CA, and even she said that she didn’t fully understand the event until she started writing it. “My CA is about statutes that showed up around New York of children lying in cages. It was done by RAICES, the refugee and immigrant center for education and legal services in order to protest the incarcerated children at the detention camps at the southern border”

On to Interpretation,

Dramatic Interpretation (DI): DI is an event where the person takes a story/ play and makes it into a 8-10 minute performance. The key is to develop each character and tell the story from the viewpoint of the character(s). John’s DI is “Lonely Planet” .

Poetry Interpretation (Poetry): In poetry the person will take poems from several poets that are centered around a common theme and interpret it into 1 performance.

Prose Interpretation (Prose): In Prose, the person takes some sort of story or narrative (usually 1 character). They interpret the piece. Sometimes the piece can be a novel and the person has to cut the piece significantly. Other times, it is a short story that requires little or no cutting.

Program Oral Interpretation (POI): POI is kind of like a combination of Poetry and Prose. The person takes multiple pieces of prose, poetry, and other literature/ writings (articles, personal narratives, etc.). You then make it into one performance, the “program”. Normally, POI is usually used as a call for change in society. This year, Shiloh Johnston’s POI deals Rape Culture in athletics. Shiloh uses Brenda Tracy’s story in her POI. (If you feel comfortable, you should read/listen to her story)

Duo Interpretation (Duo): Duo is kind of what it sounds like. Duo is done with two people. However, they cannot interact with each other in any way. They cannot touch or even look at each other. You almost have to imagine a mirror is between the two people competing. Duos scripts are normally plays or stories with 2 distinct characters.

Limited Prep time,

Extemporaneous Speaking (Extemp): Hands down, my FAVORITE EVENT. Extemp is SO much fun. You are given 3 questions that deal with politics and current events. You then have 30 minutes to prep a 7 minute speech. You use the internet and other servers to find sources that answer the question. Here is an example of extemp questions I got at the McKendree tournament.

Extemp questions range from domestic, international, and economic

Impromptu Speaking (Impromptu): Impromptu can be a difficult event. You are give a quotation(s). Then you spend usually 30-90 seconds preparing a speech. You first interpret what the quote means, then agree/disagree with it. Then you go into 2 points of analysis that you though of the prove your point. In those 2 points you usually have 2 sub points to support your main points. These examples rage from people, historical events, places, teams, documents, theories, etc. You want to show a wide variety of knowledge while still staying true to the quotation.

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