Creative Expression

A category for writers. This interpretive category is chock full of originality and soul. From aspiring comedy writers to the most serious of prose, this category draws on the heart and soul of all who take the challenge of competing in Creative Expression.

Coach: Tim Anderson and Racher Jorgenson



The only group category, Discussion is a public address event that relies on research, quick thinking, and teamwork. Each participating group is given a task at the beginning of the round, and it is the job of the group to find the best solution. This event is highly competitive, but also highly rewarding.

It is also not a national category, and does not have an accompanying video. Despite this, we highly recommend this category to aspiring business and political leaders.

Coach: Tim Anderson and Ryan Nelson-Cain


Dramatic Interpretation

This interpretive category relies on a student’s skill as an actor or actress, requiring focus on characters in a serious, dramatic way. This event focuses solely on plays and theater and is ideal for a young actor looking to hone their skills and develop new skills as they get in touch with the characters they perform.

Coach: Rachel Jorgenson and Tim Anderson


Duo Interpretation

Duo Interpretation draws on the chemistry and skill of two speakers instead of one. Performance material can be drawn from movies, books, or plays. This interpretive event pushes competitors to not only hone their own skills, but to learn to develop a performance chemistry between themselves and their characters.

Coach: Tim Anderson and Rachel Jorgenson


Extemporaneous Reading

This interpretive “draw” category is based on performance reading. Drawing from a book assigned by the Minnesota State High School League, performers will learn to write introductions to stories, as well as learning to be expressive, engaging readers who truly understand the material that they’re performing.

Coach: Tim Anderson


Extemporaneous Speaking

For the politically minded among us, there is Extemporaneous Speaking. This public address “draw” event pushes speakers to work quickly and creatively. Given 30 minutes for research and preparation, every student in this category has seven performance minutes to answer the domestic or international policy question given to them. The best among these performers are not only excellent speakers, they also possess an exceptional political wit.

Coach: Ryan Nelson-Cain


Great Speeches

While all 13 categories produce great speeches, only one category tell us why their speeches are great. These speakers select speeches from history, from commencements, from all over the world and analyze them using rhetorical frameworks to explain why the speech had the impact that it did. Performers in this public address category must be extremely energetic and excited about the inner workings of rhetoric, as this is the most technical of all 13 categories.

Coach: Ryan Nelson-Cain


Humorous Interpretation

More commonly referred to as Humorous, or simply Humor, this interpretive category draws on books, plays, and more to produce humorous performance material. In humor, speakers will learn how to create characters, use new parts of their vocal range, and move quickly and cleanly between characters, applying many different facets to their performance.

Coach: Tim Anderson and Rachel Jorgenson


Informative Speaking

One of the more classic styles of speech, informative is an engaging lesson on a topic of the speakers’ choosing. Through the use of visual aids and an expected style of formal speaking, this public address category is a phenomenal choice for students who love just to tell other about new things. A great tool for those who want to be teachers, informative can teach students many great things about organizing a speech, use of visual aids, and a formal style of speaking.

Coach: Ryan Nelson-Cain


Original Oratory

When one thinks of speech, this is often the kind of speech that they’re thinking of. The absolute classic persuasive speech, Original Oratory is a public address category that combines research, personality, emotion, and a wide knowledge of pop culture and history. Speakers in this category will learn how to have a high level of energy while delivering a well dictated, well thought out speech on societal issues that reflects who they are and what they believe.

Coach: Ryan Nelson-Cain



The fans of poetry who are trying to decide whether or not to participate in speech can look no further. This interpretive category allows students to reflect on the raw emotions derived from the most nuanced poetry pieces. In this event, speakers will learn how to interpret poetry and find deeper meaning in every line, and will learn how to convey that emotion in a serious

Coach: Rachel Jorgenson



The category for those who love pure literature, this interpretive event draws up the emotions found in the texts of books both fiction and nonfiction. Often referred to simply as “Prose,” this category will teach speakers to find a connection to the characters in the story that they’re telling and convey that to the audience, evoking the emotions portrayed in the story in a clean way that demonstrates an exemplary level of performance.

Coach: Tim Anderson



The last of the 13 Categories, storytelling pushes speakers to recreate popular folk stories on the spot. In this interpretive “draw” event, performers will learn the origins of the folks stories, the characters involved, and will learn to create voices and physical embodiments for these characters. A true test of the creativity and skill for all performers, students will learn to write as well as perform in a flexible manner with high-energy physical movement.

Coach: Tim Anderson