In Dec, you will memorize a speech given by someone else and present it at the tournament.
A speech qualifies if it was:
Written by a different person
Presented in a public forum by someone other than yourself
Taken from a published source.
The maximum time for Dec is ten minutes, but you are allowed to cut down a longer speech to meet the time period. All speeches must have an introduction revealing the background and original speaker’s intent. This can include:
Only 9th-graders and 10th-graders are eligible to compete in Dec.
Tips and Tricks:
When choosing a speech, be original! Stay away from speeches that most people already know. The more original or impactful the topic, the better. Does your audience want to listen to another stereotypical speech about college graduation, or would they rather listen to a humorous commencement speech given by Dolly Parton?
If you’re having trouble finding a speech, search for Ted Talks. Make sure that the Ted Talk is long enough and that the topic is impactful and/or interesting. You can also research role models, but make sure you don’t choose a well-known speech (e.g. Emma Watson’s speech at the UN about feminism).
Just because Dec is a speaking event doesn’t mean you can’t get emotional. Pause when delivering emotional stories. Change your voice to reflect jokes. Make a personality shine through when speaking. After all, if you had to sit through several 10-minute speeches, would you rather hear a fast-paced monotone speech or a lively speech?
For more detailed practicing tips, check out the KHSSL handbook (Dec starts on page 19).