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Author malw  Date 03 Aug 07, 18:33  Views 5302
Description An explanation of the judging criteria
Category Contests  Type Information
Article scope
General Information

What Makes a Winning Speech?

So what is the difference between a winning speech and a Winning Area Competition Speech? The answer is in the criteria used by the Judges. Unlike a speech that is evaluated against a manual, a competition speech is marked against a set of prescribed criteria; so whilst your speech may be well matched to the objectives of the manual in say "vocal variety" or "body language" it has to be judged against a different specification.

This means that sometimes you can sit in a contest, especially further up the competition chain and think :-
"Well that doesn't make much sense - the first speaker was much funnier than the second, but they didn't win. What were the judges thinking about?"
They may not have won because their presentation was a series of funny stories, of one-liners rather than a speech with a humorous theme and the Judges may well have been thinking:-
"Good audience reaction say 12 of the 15 marks, but poor speech development, effectiveness and value so only 20 marks out of a potential 40."
The other speaker who had a well crafted speech with structure and content may have scored well on the development, effectiveness and value but less well on the lower scoring criteria "audience reaction"...audience reaction also includes attentiveness, interest and reception...not just laughter.

The Humorous Speech should be a crafted speech, not a monologue or collection of jokes - it should have some value to the audience. And it shouldn't be rude...you can infer and imply but you shouldn't be blatant...in the words of Coco Channel "it's half what you've got and half what they think you've got"

So let's look at the criteria:
CONTENT 55% of the total :

    Speech Development [ Structure, opening, body, support material] 15%
    Effectiveness [Excitement created, suspense, the unexpected twist, surprise, connection of humorous events, achievement of purpose] yup only 10%
    Speech Value [ideas, logic, original thought] 15%
    Audience Response [ attentiveness, laughter, interest, reception] 15%

DELIVERY 30% of the total :
    Physical [appearance, body language] 10%.......yup the same score as all the things you think about should be in a humorous speech under effectiveness!
    Voice [ flexibility, volume] 10%
    Manner [directness, assurance, enthusiasm] 10%

LANGUAGE 15% of the total
    Appropriateness [ to speech purpose and audience] 10%
    Correctness [ grammar, pronunciation, word selection] 5%

Hope that helps explain why Judges get such a hard time, and what we need to think about when we prepare our speeches.

Jo Haskins

Thamesdown Speakers

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