1. An orator will be expected to research and discuss intelligently, with a degree of originality, in an interesting manner, and with some profit to the audience, about a topic he/she has written.. An orator is given free choice of subject and judged solely on the effectiveness of thought, composition, and delivery.
2. The composition should be considered carefully for its rhetoric and diction. The use of appropriate figures of speech, similes and metaphors, balanced sentences, allusions, and other rhetorical devices to make the oration more effective should be noted especially. Use of American English should be more than correct; it should reveal a discriminating choice of words and altogether fine literary qualities. It should be especially adapted to oral presentation.
3. Delivery should be judged for mastery of the usual mechanics of speech -- poise, quality and use of voice, bodily expressiveness, and for the qualities of directness and sincerity which impress the oration upon the minds of the audience. No particular style of delivery is to be set up as the one correct style to which all contestants must conform. Rather, each contestant is to be judged upon the effectiveness of his/her delivery, free to choose or develop whatever style will best give him/her that effectiveness with his/her particular oration. No visual aids are permitted.
4. Time limit is a minimum of five minutes and a maximum of ten minutes with a thirty second
grace. Contestants who do not fall within the time limits cannot be ranked first in the round.
5. This event shall be comprised only of memorized orations actually composed by the student
and not used by him or her during a previous year or in any other event at the same tournament.
6. No notes, manuscripts, or prompting is permitted during the speech.
7. No visual aids are permitted.
8. Any non-factual reference, especially a personal one, must be so identified.
9. Not more than 150 words of the oration may be a direct quotation from any other speech or writing, and such quotations shall be identified in the typed copy, and shall be indicated or identified during the presentation.
10. All forms of plagiarism must be avoided. Any student found guilty of plagiarism will be disqualified in that tournament. A student found guilty of a second infraction in plagiarism will be prohibited from participating in future WVIFL tournaments.
11. To avoid plagiarism, students must bring to the tournament a typed copy of his/her speech showing documentation in either MLA or APA style, which includes in-text citations and a Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA) page at the end. The typed manuscript of the speech must be turned in at registration or sent electronically to the tournament director prior to the tournament.