Speech Coaching Resources
How Our Speech Contest Series Works
- High schools (grades 9-12) may participate in our contests upon joining the WHSFA.
- By early January, schools should be notified by their district chair as to which subdistrict they have been assigned (dates and locations for subdistricts are available to the right).
NOTE: Invitational festivals or tournaments — as well as regional athletic conference tournaments — are run independently of the WHSFA, and are subject to registration and other protocols established by those respective host schools.
- By the end of January, all coaches must register online, with an accurate roster of adjudicators and student names, certifying interscholastic eligibility (usually handled by an athletic/activities director or an administrator), and assigning students to specific category entries. During that same window, coaches may log back in and make changes to registration, up until three weeks prior to the subdistrict festival. See SpeechWire registration instructions in the Speech Handbook (linked below). As part of the online registration process, coaches book a State Festival time slot (Friday evening or Saturday morning); these are available on a first come, first served basis.
- Schools may register up to 4 entries in Group Interpretive Reading, up to 4 entries in Play Acting, and no more than 6 entries between both categories. If a school has 5 or 6 entries between both categories, that school must select a Saturday time slot for the State Festival.
- The State Office will share registration information — as well as a supply of evaluation sheets, radio scripts, and extemporaneous speaking questions — with each subdistrict host, who will use that to schedule and prepare each festival.
- At the subdistrict festival, over the course of three rounds each entry must earn at least two scores of 16 or better to move on to the district level. Using the SpeechWire interface, subdistrict hosts will report advancing entries immediately following their contests, which district chairs will subsequently use to schedule the district festival.
- Coaches will have a brief window to drop students who have advanced, but will not continue to participate after subdistrict, as well as to confirm or modify the adjudicators they plan to bring to the district festival.
- At the district festival, over the course of three rounds each entry must earn at least two scores of 20 or better to move on to the State level. Using the SpeechWire interface, district hosts will report advancing entries immediately following their contests, which will be used to schedule the State Festival.
- Coaches will have a brief window to drop students who have advanced, but will not continue to participate at State, as well as to confirm or modify the adjudicators they plan to bring to State.
- Each entry presents for one round at the State festival. Entries earning 25 points earn a gold medal; entries earning 23-24 points earn a silver medal; entries earning 20-22 points earn a bronze medal; entries earning 5-19 points in a small bronze medal.
WHSFA Google Community
Nat’l Speech & Debate Assoc.
Amer. Legion Oratorical Contest
Optimist Oratorical Contest
VFW Voice of Democracy Contest
College Forensic Programs
Berkeley Digital Library
Internet Public Library
Wis. Historical Society
Badger Link: Research
Conscious Style Guide