Informative: This is a 10 minute speech that has an introduction, 3 main points, and a conclusion. It is just like writing an essay for an English class. You are allowed to write about anything you want, as long as you make sure to cite a few sources throughout your speech. For this event, you also get to use visual aids to enhance your speech. Generally, people use poster boards on a stand as visuals.
Oratory: This event is very similar to Informative Speaking. It is a 10 minute original speech that has an introduction, 3 main points, and a conclusion. The main purpose of this event is to persuade your audience, so pick your topic accordingly. There are no visual aids in this event and your speech must be completely memorized. Other than these basics, there are no other guidelines to follow and you have a lot of freedom to be as creative as possible with your speeches.
Extemporaneous: For this event, you get your speech topic 30 minutes before you have to give a speech. The topic area varies, but is usually about current events. It is super important to stay up to date with news if you are interested in this event! Once you have your topic (which you draw out of a hat), you have 30 minutes to prepare a 5-7 minute long speech. You may use the Internet during this prep time. You cannot have notes during your speech, so this event will teach you how to speak on your feet!
Impromptu: Impromptu is similar to Extemporaneous except there is less prep time. Impromptu topics are not generally related to current events and are very broad. The whole event is 7 minutes long. You will enter your competition room and draw a topic. Once you have your topic, the 7 minute timer starts. It is recommended that you take about 2 minutes to plan your speech in your head. When you're ready, you will give your speech until the 7 minute timer goes off (about a 5 minute speech).