AFA event rules (taken from national AFA national bylaws):
Definition: Contestants are given three topics in the general area of current events. 30 minutes to prepare. 7 minutes. Limited notes permitted. Students will speak in the listed order. Posting of topics will be staggered.
Key Tips: 1) Need at least six source citations in the speech; 2) Need to avoid past-present-future organization; 3) Have a clear answer to the question; 4) Go beyond the basic news report on the subject.
Definition: topics will be of a proverb nature; 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking; limited notes are permitted.
Key Tips: 1) Need to show appreciation for the topic’s meaning; 2) need developed, interesting examples; 3) need a unique twist on the topic so it stands out from other people’s commentary.
Definition: an original, factual speech. Audiovisuals may or may not be used. Multiple sources should be used and cited. Minimal notes permitted. 10 minutes.
Key Tips: 1) pick a topic involving science or technology; 2) pick a topic that would be directly useful to any judge’s daily life.
Definition: An original speech designed to inspire, reinforce or change beliefs, attitudes, values or actions of the audience. Audiovisuals may or may not be used. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. 10 minutes.
Key Tips: 1) pick a topic where the judge him or herself can do something to solve the problem.
After Dinner Speaking
Definition: Original, humorous speech designed to exhibit sound speech composition, thematic coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills, and good taste. The speech should not resemble a nightclub act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visuals may or may not be used. Minimal notes permitted. 10 minutes.
Key Tips: 1) the speech should cause people to laugh; 2) the speech should make a point, usually persuasive.
Definition: An original speech by the student designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, campaign, etc. through the use of rhetorical principles. Audio-visuals may or may not be used. Manuscripts are permitted. 10 minutes.
Key Tips: 1) intro should raise interest in the artifact you will study; 2) lay out a 2 to 4 point communication “model” for studying the artifact; 3) provide insight beyond what others would see in the artifact at first glance; 4) your conclusion needs to revise/add to/modify/reject communication theory AND provide insight on the artifact that is directly useful to the judge; 5) pick an artifact that is unusual; that is important yet not well known or at least not well understood; 6) pick a contemporary artifact (the past year)
Prose: a selection or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings and poetry are prohibited. Use of manuscript required. 10 minutes.
Drama Interpretation: A cutting which represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. This material may be drawn from stage, screen or radio. Manuscript required. 10 minutes. (AFA has passed a rule that will allow manuscripts to be optional in this event at a future national tournament.)
Poetry Interpretation: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings are prohibited. Use of manuscript required. 10 minutes.
Duo: a cutting from a play or plays of literary merit, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. May be drawn from stage, screen or radio. No costumes, props, lighting, etc. Presentation from manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other. 10 minutes.
POI: a program of thematically linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose/poetry/drama). A substantial portion of the total time must be devoted to each of the genres used in the program. Different genre means the material must appear in separate pieces of literature. (e.g. a poem included in the short story that appears only in the short story does not constitute a second genre). Only one selection may be original. Use of manuscript required. 10 minutes.
Key Tips: 1) Your introduction needs to develop the theme; explain the main point and why it is important; 2) Need to interpret the feeling and thoughts and emotions of the characters as they would actually say them; 3) Need pieces that speak to you and your judges.