Theater, Debate, Speech = Forensics

The High School Forensics season is in full swing. But some may wonder what Forensics is.

Forensics is a way for students to enhance their public speaking skills. The Greeks used to put on contests for speakers that developed and recognized the abilities their society felt central to democracy. These organized events obtained the title “forensics,” derived from the Latin term for “ensis”, an adjectival suffix meaning ‘pertaining to’,  and closely related to “forum”.

Forensics competitions are held under the WHSFA (Wisconsin High School Forensics Association), and are split up into trophy tournaments, sub-district, district, and state. A student must receive a score of at least 18 points (out of 25 total points) in at least 2 of the 3 rounds at sub-district to  advance to district. At the district level, students must earn at least 20 points in 2 of the 3 rounds to advance to state. At the state level, there is one round and students receive a bronze, silver, or gold medal based on that performance. 

There are different categories that students can participate in: poetry which is simply reading a poem; prose is reading a story or excerpt from a book or an article; solo acting and playing acting (solo acting is by yourself while play acting is in a group); group interpretation, public address, radio speaking, oratory, moments in history, farrago, extemporaneous, demonstration, four minute speech, special occasion speech, storytelling, and impromptu speech. There is a category to fit every student and what they are interested in. All members get to choose their own pieces so you are never stuck with something you hate. 

The main goal of High School Forensics is to show the audience your interpretation of a piece of literature. Participating in Forensics helps to build your character, confidence, public speaking skills, and leadership skills. 

-Kassidy Ashbeck


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