Winter Chill

2022 — NSDA Campus, WA/US

Declamation, Memorized Public Address, Oratorical Analysis

Abbreviation DEC
Format Speech
Entry Fee $5.00
Entry 1 competitors per entry

Event Description:

Please note that the final event is done in different fashions throughout the country. Any of the three below formats may be used.

  • A. Oratorical Analysis The contestant will present a non-original speech, portions thereof, or cuttings of various speeches by one “real life” speaker. The speech should not be from fiction, but from an actual address by a person of significance either past or present.

  • Time: 10 min. maximum Time signals: not provided.

  • The intent of this event should be the analysis (not interpretation) of the oratory or speech.

  • The contestant will analyze the oratory selection(s) for approximately 50% of the presentation.

  • The speech may be presented from memory or by use of a text.


  • B. Memorized Public Address with Analysis Material used in this event should include only an address which has originally been presented by the author as an address in a speaker/audience situation. The content of the address must have statewide, national or international significance.

  • The speech shall consist of two parts, analysis and address. This analysis must be at least forty percent (40%) by word count of the entire presentation and cannot exceed ten percent (10%) quoted material. The combined length 20 of the analysis and address shall not exceed ten minutes. During the delivery of the speech no manuscript may be held by the contestant.

  • Contestant must include in his/her analysis the historical and social context of the address, the author's background, and purposes in presenting the address, and an analysis of the theme and effective use of rhetoric.


  • C. Declamation Declamation requires students to select a speech that was delivered in public and perform an excerpt of that speech to an audience.

  • Speeches are up to 10 minutes in length. As a result, students typically shorten the text of the speech to meet time requirements.

  • The event is not designed for students to mimic the original author of the speech. Instead, speakers are to develop an oration that delivers the message of the author in an original and engaging manner.

  • Students will construct a short introduction that gives context to their performance. At a minimum, the introduction should establish the title of the speech, the author, and when it was delivered. 

  • Typically students will do a short portion of the speech before delivering their intro, sometimes called a teaser. Some students do the introduction and then go into the speech. There is no preferred method; simply evaluate whether or not the introduction gave you a solid foundation to evaluate the speech, and fit within the flow of the speech!