Humorous Speech Contest – Rules and Regulations

Contest Rules and Regulations – Preliminaries  

The preliminary round will comprise only of prepared humorous speeches. Each contestant is allowed to give a prepared speech according to the following rules.  

  1. Eligibility
  • The contestant may have no age limit.
  • He/she may represent any local University(Private or State), institute or school, school leavers, working people.
  • Toastmasters are not allowed to compete.
  1. Language
  • All speeches must be done in English (No dialogues or any phrases can be expressed in other languages i.e. Sinhala, Tamil)
  1. Speech Timings
  • Speech should be between 5 to 7 minutes.
  • The speaker will be disqualified if the speech falls short of 4 minutes 30 seconds or it exceeds 7 minutes 30 seconds.
  • A green signal/card will be displayed at the 5th minute and remain displayed for one minute
  • A yellow/amber signal/card will be displayed at the 6th minute and remain displayed for one minute
  • A red signal/card will be displayed at the 7th minute and will remain on until the conclusion of the speech


The red card will be kept displayed on until a speaker finishes his/her speech. There will be no indication made to the contestant, in the event of disqualification.

It is the responsibility of the speaker to finish a speech during the allotted time period as indicated above.

  1. Selection of topics
  • Contestants are free to speak on any topic of his/her choice apart from those which discriminate a particular section of a community or are purely politically motivated.
  • Originality must be maintained in all speeches. Any quoted, paraphrased, or referenced content must be so identified during the speech presentation
  • Contestants are allowed to present the same speech content for all rounds
  1. Use of Electronic Devices
  • The use of electronic devices and other electronic aids including visuals, slide projectors and charts will not be permitted. Contestants are allowed to use other handheld props for the speech.
  1. Dress Code
  • All participants must be dressed in formal attire
  1. Judges Decision
  • If a situation arises where 2 or more contestants have an equal number of points, the Tie-breaking judge will be involved in making the final decision.
  1. Protests and Disqualifications
  • Protests are limited to eligibility and originality and shall only be lodged by voting judges and contestants. Any protest shall be lodged with the chief judge and/or contest chair prior to the announcement of the winner.
  • Before a contestant can be disqualified on the basis of originality, the contestants must be given an opportunity to respond to the voting judges. The majority of the voting judges must concur in the decision to disqualify.
  • The contest chair can disqualify a contestant on the basis of eligibility
  • Decision of the judges will be final.


  • 20 contestants will be selected from the preliminaries to compete at the semifinals of “e n l I v e n  2017”.
  • No reserves will be selected.
  • All contestants must switch off their mobile phones, timing devices and other electronic devices upon entering the contest premises

Speech Evaluation Criteria

Speeches will be evaluated and judged on the basis of the following criteria.

Speech Content (55%)

  • Speech Development  – Structure, organization and support material
  • Effectiveness   – Achievement of purpose, interest and reception
  • Speech value   – Ideas, logic and originality of thoughts.
  • Audience response – attentiveness, laughter, interest and reception.

Speech Delivery (30%)

  • Physical   – Appearance, body language and speaking area
  • Manner   – Directness, assurance and enthusiasm.
  • Voice    – Flexibility and volume.

Language (15%)

  • Appropriateness – To speech purpose and to audience.
  • Correctness   – Grammar, pronunciation and word selection.


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