Humorous Speech Contest Judge's Guide and Ballot


Judging Criteria

Content (55%)

Speech Development is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The speech is structured around a purpose or theme, and the structure must include an opening, body, and conclusion. A good humorous speech immediately engages the audience's attention and then builds to a significant conclusion; it is not a series of jokes or a monologue.

Effectiveness refers to your (the contest judge's) subjective judgment of how the speech came across. What was the purpose or theme of the speech? Did the speech relate directly to that purpose or theme? Was humor used effectively?

Speech Value justifies the act of speaking. The speaker has a responsibility to say something meaningful and original to the audience, even in a humorous speech. The listeners should feel the speaker has made a contribution to their thinking. The ideas should be important ones, even though they are presented humorously.

Audience Response reflects the audience's reaction to the speech. Did the speech hold the audience's interest? Did people understand and laugh at the humor?

Delivery (30%)

Physical presentation of a speech carries part of the responsibility for effective communication. The speaker's appearance should reinforce the speech. Body language should support points through gestures, expressions, and body positioning.

Voice is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard and the words easily understood.

Manner is the indirect revelation of the speaker's real self as the speech is delivered. The speaker should speak with enthusiasm and assurance, showing interest in the audience members and confidence in their reactions.

Language (15%)

Appropriateness of language refers to the choice of words that relate to the speech purpose and to the particular audience hearing the speech. Language should promote clear understanding of thoughts, should fit the occasion, and should be in good taste.

Correctness of language ensures that attention will be directed toward what the speaker says, not how it is said. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used.



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Composed with care by Peter Bunce, DTM, ATM-S
Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2011




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