Contest Rules and Regulations – Preliminaries

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

1. Eligibility

The contestant should be of or above 17 years of age He/she should be an undergraduate of the University of Colombo as at 20th February 2020.

Toastmasters are allowed to compete provided they are undergraduates of the University of Colombo.

2. Language

All speeches must be done in English (No dialogues or any phrases can be expressed in other languages, i.e. Sinhala, Tamil)

3. 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.

IMPORTANT:
The red light will be kept switched 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Dress Code

All participants must be dressed in formal attire.

7. 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.

8. 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.

NOTE:
15 contestants will be selected from the preliminaries to compete at the semifinals of ORATION 2020. (Maximum of 7 contestants from each Faculty).
No reserves will be selected.          

All contestants must switch off their mobile phones, timing devices and other electronic devices upon entering the contest premises.

9. Speech Evaluation Criteria

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

Speech Content (50%)
– Speech Development – Structure, organization and support material
– Effectiveness – Achievement of purpose, interest and reception
– Speech value – Ideas, logic and originality of thoughts.
Speech Delivery (30%)
– Physical – Appearance and body language
– Manner – Directness, assurance and enthusiasm.
– Voice – Flexibility and volume.
Language (20%)
– Appropriateness – To speech purpose and to audience.
– Correctness – Grammar, pronunciation and word selection.