MSHSL Rules and Guidelines
- Informative Speaking is an event in which the student presents an original informative composition of which no more than 10% shall be direct quotation. Quality of thought, research, and composition, as well as delivery, should be considered by the Judges. All materials quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources (including visuals) must be documented in the submitted script (within the text or in a Works Cited listing or both) and orally and/or visually during the presentation.
- The purpose of Informative Speaking is to present information that the audience may or may not possess and that the student believes important for the audience.
- The use of visual aids is optional. Visual aids may be two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional but may not violate law (weapons, drugs, for example). The use of animals or any additional people as visual aids is not allowed during the speech. Maximum set-up time is two (2) minutes. When set-up is completed or all of the set up time has been used, timing the speaking begins. Expedient take-down is expected. The host school is responsible for communicating any limitations to visual aids dictated by their school policies. The host school is not responsible for providing any facilities, equipment, or assistance in a contestant’s use of visual aid.
- A copy of the script must be filed with the Contest Manager before each contest. Updated copies of the script must be submitted at Subsection, Section, and State levels.
- On-the-spot audience surveys adapted to the speech as given, audience handouts, and active audience involvement are not permitted. The rule does not allow for any type of audience participation. The speech is to be a self-contained presentation—ten (10) minutes in length—presented and controlled by the student.
The judging criteria will be the following:
- Appropriate choice of subject and information for the audience.
- Clear organization.
- Direct and communicative delivery manner.
- Predominantly serious informative purpose (which may include the use of humor).
- Avoidance of predominantly persuasive subjects and techniques (Every Informative Speech contains some elements of persuasion).
- The use of a script is optional, provided it is not used as a prop.
- THE MAXIMUM TIME OF PRESENTATION SHALL NOT EXCEED TEN (10) MINUTES. IF THE SPEAKER HAS BEEN WARNED THAT TIME HAS EXPIRED, THE SPEAKER MAY ONLY FINISH THE SENTENCE ALREADY BEGUN.