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The art of speaking in public eloquently and effectively.  (This is not a dramatic presentation.)


  1. Only one (1) speech is to be presented, and it must not exceed five (5) minutes.
  2. The selection of the speech is the decision of the contestant; it should either be an original (written by the contestant) or an excerpt from a speech written by a famous individual or historical figure.
  3. The speech is not to be presented as a dramatic presentation.
  4. Costumes and props are not permitted.
  5. The material must be completely memorized.
  6. Contestants are encouraged to prepare and deliver original selections. However, if the contestant decides to present a selection already published, we recommend that they not limit their selection to speeches delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many great speeches by famous people, such as Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, etc.

Note: The deadline for submission of National registration documents is the first Friday in May. No materials or copies will be accepted at the National Competition. 

Contestants Will Be Judged By The Following Criteria

  • Delivery (25 pts) 
    1. Voice
    2. Diction
    3. Pronunciation
    4. Enunciation
    5. Gestures
    6. Emphasis
  • Interpretation (25 pts) 
    1. Content
    2. Subject Adherence
    3. Theme
    4. Logic and Color
  • Platform Presence (25 pts) 
    1. Poise
    2. Appeal
    3. Impression
    4. Attitude and Effect
  • Projection (25 pts)
    1. Voice
    2. Emphasis
    3. Tone
    4. Pitch 
    5. Volume

Click Here to Submit an Online Application

 Click Here to Download the Requirements and Judging Criteria for all ACT-SO Categories.

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