Interpretive Speeches

In all interpretive events, competitors write, or select and analyze literature, then bring it to life through the creative use of voice, movement, and facial expression, without the aid of costumes or props.

Dramatic Interpretation Rules

In DI, the competitor, using a play, short story, or other published work, performs a selection with a spotlight on character development and depth which captivates and moves the audience.

DI Rules
DI Ballot

Duo Interpretation

In Duo, two competitors create an original rendition of a story from one or more selection(s) of literature which captivates and moves the audience.

Duo Rules
Duo Ballot

Humorous Interpretation

In HI, the competitors tell relatable stories using humor as a device to connect with the audience from a single published work. Stand-up comedy, or telling a series of jokes without a corresponding plot, is not Humorous Interpretation.

HI Rules
HI Ballot

Open Interpretation

In OI, selections may be in the whole range from dramatic to humorous genres, including narrative storytelling, single voice monologues, thematic compilations, or self-written pieces.

OI Rules
OI Ballot

Limited Preparation Speeches

Competitors get a limited time to prepare for a speech on a topic that is given to them at the speech event. Preparation before the tournament is described in the event rules.


In Apol, the competitor is given four minutes to prepare a persuasive and reasoned speech that defends a tenet of the Christian faith and explains why that principle matters.

Apol Rules
Apol Ballot

Extemporaneous Speaking

In Extemp, the competitor answers a given question based on recent events in the news. The competitor researches national and international current events and may create reference files of newsworthy information. Extemporaneous speech should be regarded as a demonstration of personal knowledge on the topic, as well as an original synthesis of numerous sources.

Extemp Rules
Extemp Ballot


In Impromptu, the competitor is given two minutes to prepare a speech on a randomly drawn prompt. The goal is to develop a winsome, polished speaker who can present an original, spontaneously prepared speech.

Impromptu Rules
Impromptu Ballot

For Impromptu only, the top 30% of competitors at each Stoa tournament will receive Green Check Marks.

Mars Hill Impromptu

In MHI, the competitor uses books, movies, and other genres to discuss the appeal and impact of the theme(s) within the topic, holding them up in light of Christian truth found in the Bible. This event is intended for competitors 14 and older or with the consent of the parents due to mature themes in some topics.

Mars Hill Rules
Mars Hill Ballot

Platform Speeches

A prepared speech, written by the competitor, with the purpose of informing, exposing, or persuading on a topic.

Expository Speaking

An Expos is a prepared speech written by the competitor which explains and illustrates a topic through both words and visuals (e.g. illustrated boards, physical props, digital and electronic presentations, or any combination).

Expos Rules
Expos Ballot

Original Oratory

An OO is a prepared speech, written by the competitor, on a topic of the competitor’s choice. The purpose of this informative speech is to explain, describe, or expose the topic.

OO Rules
OO Ballot


A Persuasive is a prepared speech, written by the competitor, which advocates a specific position or course of action.

Pers Rules
Pers Ballot

Wild Card Speeches

New and unique speech events offered on a two-year rotation that are meant to challenge competitors in their preparation and presentation skills.

Interp in a Box (2022-2024)

The Interp in a Box is an original rendition by the competitor of a relatable story from a single published work of literature with a focus on plot and character development which captivates and moves the audience, using props to emphasize the interpretation. The presentation may range from dramatic to humorous genres.

Interp in a Box Rules
Interp in a Box Ballot