Interpretive Speeches

In all interpretive events, competitors write, or select and analyze literature, then bring it to life through the creative use of voice, movement, and facial expression, without the aid of costumes or props.

Dramatic Interpretation Rules

In DI, the competitor, using a play, short story, or other published work, performs a selection with a spotlight on character development and depth which captivates and moves the audience.

Duo Interpretation

In Duo, two competitors create an original rendition of a story from one or more selection(s) of literature that captivates and moves the audience.

Humorous Interpretation

In HI, the competitors tell relatable stories using humor as a device to connect with the audience from a single published work. Stand-up comedy, or telling a series of jokes without a corresponding plot, is not Humorous Interpretation.

Open Interpretation

In OI, selections may be in the whole range from dramatic to humorous genres, including narrative storytelling, single voice monologues, thematic compilations, or self-written pieces.

Limited Preparation Speeches

Competitors get a limited time to prepare for a speech on a topic that is given to them at the speech event. Preparation before the tournament is described in the event rules.


In Apol, the competitor is given four (4) minutes to prepare a persuasive and reasoned speech that defends a tenet of the Christian faith and explains why that principle matters.

Extemporaneous Speaking

In Extemp, the competitor answers a given question based on recent events in the news. The competitor researches national and international current events and may create reference files of newsworthy information. Extemporaneous speech should be regarded as a demonstration of personal knowledge on the topic, as well as an original synthesis of numerous sources.

Mars Hill Impromptu

In MHI, the competitor uses books, movies, and other genres to discuss the appeal and impact of the theme(s) within the topic, holding them up in light of Christian truth found in the Bible. This event is intended for competitors 14 and older or with the consent of the parents due to mature themes in some topics.

Platform Speeches

A prepared speech, written by the competitor, with the purpose of informing, exposing, or persuading on a topic.

Expository Speaking

An Expos is a prepared speech written by the competitor which explains and illustrates a topic through both words and visuals (e.g. illustrated boards, physical props, digital and electronic presentations, or any combination).

Original Oratory

An OO is a prepared speech, written by the competitor, on a topic of the competitor’s choice. The purpose of this informative speech is to explain, describe, or expose the topic.


A Persuasive is a prepared speech, written by the competitor, which advocates a specific position or course of action.
Wild Card Event Speeches
New and unique speech events offered on a two-year rotation that are meant to challenge competitors in their preparation and presentation skills.

Oratory Analysis (2019-2021)

An OA is a prepared presentation of a historical or contemporary speech that includes an analysis of the content and the cultural impact of that speech, demonstrating an understanding of the context, the speaker, and the rhetorical elements that made it great. For Oratory Analysis only, the top 50% of competitors at each Stoa tournament this year will receive green checkmarks!