How to take part in SLAM ONLINE 2020!

An online SLAM is a little different from an in-person one. First off, you don’t have to travel to get there, and it’s easy to sign in to view just the events and contests that you are most interested in! SLAM ONLINE 2020 will be open to multiple clubs, which should add to the experience. 

If you and your friends or family would like to be able to view SLAM ONLINE 2020, and if you want to participate in any of the contests, please let your Club Chairperson know, as soon as possible. We are insisting that viewers be registered, in advance, so the privacy of the event can be maintained. Registered viewers can watch any time, all day, for free. RSR Education will cover any contest participation fees.*

Due to the time constraints of the event, we may end up having to place potential contestants into a lottery to see who will be able to compete. 

* NOTE: Club members’ June dues cover the costs associated with our end-of-year SLAM regardless of whether we hold the event in late May, or June. If you are a club member when the SLAM event occurs but then withdraw from your club prior to your scheduled June dues payment, you would still be liable for June dues.  

Details about the SLAM ONLINE Contests

Note: Number of contestants may be limited due to time constraints.
Rules subject to change with notification.

Impromptu Contest – 2 minutes
Open to Speakers League and Skill Builders members. Judging panel determines the winner.

View judging panel tips (advice may need to be modified for online SLAMs): https://youtu.be/z5hLyVxPVcg 

Contestants will be “held” in the virtual waiting room until it is their turn in front of the judges. One at a time, the contestants are transferred into the main online meeting room to receive the contest question. Just like in a regular Speakers League meeting, contestants must reach the red signal (2-minutes) but not the bell (rung at 2 1/2 minutes) to be eligible to be voted for by the judging panel.  

Impromptu Contest FAQs

May I use visual aids?: No. Just like in a Speakers League meeting, you should keep your hands free for gestures. Also, no screen sharing or annotation.

May I use notes?: No. Just like in a Speakers League meeting, you would not use notes. Also, no screen sharing or annotation.

What do I get if I win the contest?: An engraved trophy will be awarded. This will be mailed to the winner within a week of the event.

Humorous Speech Contest – 5-7 minutes
Open to Speakers League members, (and Skill Builders members with their Chairperson’s prior approval). Judging panel determines the winner.

The object of this speech is to use humor to get your audience smiling and laughing. There are lots of techniques that speakers use to add humor to their speeches:

Do the Reverse
This kind of humor comes from surprising your audience by staking out a position that is the reverse of what would be considered normal. If you are giving a speech on candy, talk about how candy is a vital part of our diet because it gives us energy. Giving a speech about nursery rhymes?
Talk about how they promote dangerous behavior by children – jumping over lit candles??! The absurdity of your topic will get them laughing.
Change it Up
Lots of things can be funny, and variety can also keep your audience surprised and amused. Puns, physical humor, exaggeration, irony, sarcasm, and word play are available to you.
Finish with a Winner
In a humor speech you want to start strong to get the audience warmed up, but don’t use all of your best material and leave a weak ending. Be sure to close your speech with a final joke or observation that ties it all up well.
Circle Around
In speaking, there is a technique called a “callback.” When using this technique, you reference something from earlier in your speech. This helps tie your speech together and can be used to great comic effect. For example, you could mention that your teacher wants homework turned in by email and that this makes it hard to come up with the old “my dog ate my homework” excuse. Later in the speech your “callback moment” is when you mention that you call your computer Rover because it has seemingly eaten so much homework every time it has crashed.

Other things to remember for a humor speech

Even with the best preparation, some parts of your speech may not go as well as you planned, in terms of audience laughter. Don’t scold the audience for not “getting” your humor or let this negatively affect the rest of your presentation. Just keep going and give the audience more chances to see and hear the humor. When they do laugh, be ready to adjust to it. Don’t talk over it, and keep in mind that laughter will affect the length of your speech. Build in some time to account for audience reaction, and be prepared with a few things to cut from your speech in case you risk going over time.

Humorous Speech Contest FAQs

Can my speech be longer or shorter than 5-7 minutes?: To be eligible to win, your speech must meet the standard eligibility point for a 5-7 minute speech at a club meeting, meaning you need to reach the green signal (5 minutes), but not reach the bell (7 1/2 minutes.) If you attempt to exceed 7 1/2 minutes, you will be muted.

May I use visual aids?: Yes, but only physical ones where you are located. No screen sharing or annotation.

May I use notes?: Yes, but, all things being equal, the judging panel is likely to prefer speeches presented with minimal or no notes.

What do I get if I win the contest?: An engraved trophy will be awarded. This will be mailed to the winner within a week of the event.

Extemporaneous Speech Contest – 30 minutes prep time, 5-7 minutes speech length.

Open to Speakers League members who have given at least three speeches in their current club. Judging panel determines the winner.

Only students who are able to conduct research and prepare a speech independently are recommended for this contest. A panel of judges will determine the winner.

Technology may be used to prepare the speech (you must have your own device with internet access). The only visual aid permitted would be use of the Zoom whiteboard feature. If you anticipate using this feature, you are responsible for making sure you are already familiar with its use. Speakers are only permitted to use or carry one 4×6 index card while presenting. Have one of these available prior to your prep time. 
Contestants will be “held” in the virtual waiting room until it is their turn in front of the judges. Speaking order will One at a time, the contestants are transferred into the main online meeting room to receive the contest question. Contestants must reach the green signal (5-minutes) but not the bell (rung at 7 1/2 minutes) to be eligible to be voted for by the judging panel.
 

You will receive three questions on current events from which to choose and 30 minutes to create a 5-7 minute speech. Questions are often yes/no, but if open-ended, you must still answer definitively. You are expected to cite a minimum of three credible, recent sources, with full dates. A diversity of sources is also desired. More sources will lend credibility to each point and will be considered in judging criteria.

INTRO

Attention-getter – A story or parallel example that leads into… “…and that is what I thought of when presented with the question______” (Example: Will ______ be president?) 

Thesis – The question, read verbatim, followed by a clear answer. “…and my answer is____ (no)

Preview – State what your 3 main points that support your answer to the question will be. “To explain my answer, I will first explain______ (scandals have followed this person’s career); then I will consider_______ (this person has little chance of gaining the independent vote); finally I will argue ______(the incumbent historically has a stronger chance of winning).” The 3 main points are generally claims, or arguments that you will support with your sources, and that all support your answer to the question.

The intro should take between 1:15 and 1:30. Then go into the…

BODY
Expand on the three main points that you previewed above. You need to speak about 1½-2 minutes on each, and include at least one source for each.

CONCLUSION
Restate the question and summarize your main points (“So today, I have answered the question, Will _________ be president? And I answered no. First, I explained that scandals have damaged her reputation; second, that she has lost the independent vote; and last, that there are opposing party candidates that are stronger”
Return to attention-getter story.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRACTICE?:
For best success, be at least somewhat aware of current events. You can practice at home based on whatever is in the news. Here are some topics that have been used in similar contests in the past:

  • Election 2016: What will be the most important issue?
  • _______ (Insert candidate): Can he/she win the Presidency?
  • Should America build a wall on its southern border?
  • Should we invest taxpayer money in a manned Mars mission?
  • Should self-driving cars become a common source of transportation in the US?
  • Combating ISIS: Should the U.S. arm the Kurds?
  • ISIS: Should the U.S. do more?
  • Agreement with Iran: Is it good for America?
  • Is Common Core the answer to America’s educational problems?
  • U.S. Education: What is the solution to poor educational outcomes?
  • Police excesses: What can be done?

Extemp Speech Contest FAQs

Can my speech be longer or shorter than 5-7 minutes?: To be eligible to win, your speech must meet the standard eligibility point for a 5-7 minute speech at a club meeting, meaning you need to reach the green signal (5 minutes), but not reach the bell (7 1/2 minutes.) If you attempt to exceed 7 1/2 minutes, you will be muted.

May I use visual aids?: The only visual aid permitted is the use of the annotation feature on the Zoom whiteboard. If you anticipate using this feature, you are responsible for making sure you are already familiar with its use.

May I use notes?: As mentioned above, Speakers will only be permitted to hold or refer to a single 4×6 index card with notes on it.

What do I get if I win the contest?: An engraved trophy will be awarded. This will be mailed to the winner within a week of the event.

Contact

Phone: + 1 214 972 8046
Toll Free in USA: + 1 877 725 8880
Email: info@speakersleague.com
PO Box 866092 Plano, TX 75086