The team is very much a pedagogically focused team. What that means is that we are concerned primarily with a complete educational process directed towards the goal of excellence. That excellence is reflected in competitive success, but that specific success is not the goal. Excellence first and foremost. To that end, participation, one-on-one coaching, and continuous goal setting, revision, reflection, and recasting is essential.
Auditions for the UT Speech Team typically take place the last Friday in August. For the audition, students should prepare approximately 5 minutes of audition material. You may contact Texas Speech during the week of auditions to schedule a time. Your material may be a speech or performance material, either prepared for a class or for previous speech competition. The audition will be evaluated by members of the coaching staff.
College speech is not a club or a hobby. It is a high standards activity that requires constant improvement and one-on-one training. Most students on the team compete in 3-5 categories of competition. Coaching is not done in a classroom or even group setting. The vast majority of training is done in individually scheduled coaching sessions that work around student class schedules. We typically select between 26-30 students for the traveling squad.
There is a class associated with the team, however. Students who are selected are encouraged to take CMS 210 – Forensics Workshop in Individual Events. That class requires instructor consent, but is also the administrative meeting time for the team itself—so you might as well get the academic credit that goes with the effort of competing in college. Once the team selections are announced, you can get the instructor consent form directly from team director Randy Cox. You do not have to take this course, but your attendance is required should you be accepted on the team!
The first task is to gain admission. Please see the official UT website for admissions, at http://bealonghorn.utexas.edu/
Texas Speech students engage in 11 categories of college speech competition, and they are as follows:
Impromptu Speaking: An impromptu speech, substantive in nature, with topic selections varied by round and by section. Topics will be derived from quotations. Speakers will have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. Timing commences with the acceptance of the topics sheet. Limited notes are permitted.
Informative Speaking: An original, factual speech by the student on a realist subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
Prose Interpretation: An original or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Focus of this event is on the development of the narrative/story. Play cuttings and poetry are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.
Dramatic 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. The material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes, props, lighting, etc., are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Extemporaneous Speaking: Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current event, choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech that is the original work of the student. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Limited notes are permitted. Student will speak in listed order. Postings of topics will be staggered.
Persuasive Speaking: An original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values or actions of the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Program Oral Interpretation: A program of thematically-linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose/poetry/drama). A primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme through the use of narrative/story, language, and/or characterization. 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 a short story that appears only in that short story does not constitute a poetry genre.) Only one selection may be original. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
After Dinner Speaking: An original, humorous speech by the student, designed to exhibit sound speech composition, thematic, coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills, and good taste. The speech should not resemble a night club act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforced the message. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Communication Analysis: 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-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Manuscripts are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.
Drama Interpretation: A cutting that represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. The focus of this event is on the development of characterization. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
Poetry Interpretation: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. A primary focus of this event should be on the development of language. Play cuttings and prose works are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.
If you are interested in auditioning or have any questions regarding the Texas Speech team, please send an email to team director Randy Cox
For more information about the team, its history, and typical travel schedules, please see the team’s website at: http://commstudies.utexas.edu/forensics/speech-team