Scoring & Judging

Four judges evaluate a participant's speech

Click HERE for the scorecard that judges will use to evaluate your speech on the day of the event.

During the preliminary round, you will say your speech in front of 5 judges who will evaluate you based on the below criteria.  Each of the numbered bullets under the category heading represents a criteria that will be evaluated out of 5 (5 points= excellent, 3 points = average, 1 point = poor). The maximum number of total points you can be awarded per judge is 100.  When the scores are tallied your combined score from the 5 judges will be out of 500.

Here is a breakdown of how they will award points to create your score:

Introduction – Total points: 15

  1. The first few lines really got my attention and made me want to listen.
  2. The topic was clearly stated.
  3. The introduction set up the speech.

Platform Skills -Total points: 20

  1. The speaker was relaxed and made eye contact.
  2. The speaker used pauses to underscore points.
  3. The speaker did not use filler words (um, ahh, like).
  4. The speaker did not read from a script.

Content and Organization- Total points: 15

  1. The content was well organized and the speech flowed logically from one idea to the next.
  2. The speaker incorporated stories/examples to support her points.
  3. The information was important and relevant.

Delivery – Total points: 15

  1. The speaker spoke loudly enough for everyone to understand.
  2. The speaker used pacing effectively – spoke naturally and easily.
  3. The speaker used tone effectively and changed pitch for intonation.
  4. The speaker pronounced all words correctly and enunciation was clear.

Conclusion – Total points: 15

  1. The end of the speech was exciting and lively.
  2. The conclusion properly wrapped up the speech.
  3. The speaker summarized her main idea(s).

Timing – Total points: 15

15 points = The speech met the required 5-6 minute length (5:00 to 6:00 minutes)
10 points = The speech was less than 1 minute shorter/longer (4:00 to 4:59 OR 6:01 to 6:59)
5 points = The speech was 1-2 minutes over/under time (3:00 to 3:59 OR 7:00 to 7:59)
0 points = The speech was significantly over/under time (less than 3:00 or more than 8:00)

Total per judge =  ____  / 100

Final Score = ________  /500

*In relation to timing, please note: If you do not meet the required time, even if you are only a few seconds under or over, a judge must award you only 10 points (or less). When creating your combined score of 500, those few seconds will cost you 25 points (or more) in total. It is exceedingly rare that a participant who does not meet the time requirement will make it to the Final Round, so time carefully!