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The DAV is a non-profit association which exists to promote debate. It is the peak debating body in Victoria and runs large competitions for adults and for schools across Victoria. It provides training and resources for debaters, teachers and adjudicators.

Schools Competition

Junior Public Speaking Competition 2018

Every year the DAV runs a state-wide Junior Public Speaking Competition for students in Years 7 and 8. The program aims to give young speakers the opportunity to put their ideas forward in front of an audience whilst expanding their knowledge of current affairs. Students will develop the “building blocks” of public presentation—confidence, clarity, and the development of arguments—which are very important skills both in and out of school. The competition in 2018 will run across one school day, commencing with a training session led by DAV instructors.

Please note: Registration is due by 5pm, Friday 20th April.

When: From Term 2 (with finals to be held throughout Terms 3 and 4)
Where: Host schools across Victoria
Who: Students in Years 7 and 8
Format: Students will participate in a training session and then present one prepared speech and two impromptu speeches. In semi-finals and the grand final, students will present one prepared speech (same as that used in the preliminary rounds or a new one) and one impromptu topic.
Cost: $40 per student, limit of 6 students per school, per region.

Schools can register students in multiple regions, but we may not be able to accept all additional registrations. These will be dependent on room capacity in each region.
Registration: Coordinators can register students by logging in to the DAV website.
Please contact the office on 9348 9477 if you are a new coordinator, or if you need to be reminded of your log-in details.

Topics for 2018

Students must prepare a 4-5 minute speech on one of the following topics:

  • TBA

Students will also present two improptu speeches of 2-3 minutes.

Mt Waverley Huntingtower School TBA
Heidelberg Our Lady of Mercy College TBA
Geelong St. Joseph's College TBA
Mentone Mentone Girls' Grammar Friday 15th June 2018
Toorak St Catherine's School Wednesday 13th June 2018
Maribyrnong Maribyrnong College TBA
Heyington St Kevin's College TBA
Frankston John Paul College


Ringwood Waverley Christian College TBA

All regions run from 9:30am to 3:30pm.


Adjudication criteria


There are 4 key components to a successful speech.


  • The subject matter for the prepared speech should be persuasive in some way;
  • NOTE: impromptu speeches may be descriptive rather than persuasive
  • The subject matter should be well constructed;
  • The delivery must be convincing and engaging;
  • The words of the speech should be concise, precise and accessible to the audience


Our sub-criteria are matter and manner.


Matter involves:

  • Subject matter of the speech
    • Does it aim to be persuasive?
    • Is it well-reasoned?
    • Is it engaging?
    • Is there a clear sense of “message” in the speech?
  • Structure of the speech, inasmuch as it refers to logical development of the speech
    • Does the speech make its purpose clear at the start?
    • Does the speech have a clear structure? Does the speech develop its ideas logically?


Manner involves:

  • Style of speaking:
    • Fundamental tools of persuasiveness: clear speech and eye contact
    • Voice
    • Body language
    • Does the speaker tailor his/her speaking style to their content?
      • Is the speech varied enough to hold the audience’s attention?
    • Cues: notes are allowed, but shouldn’t interfere
      • Props are not allowed
      • Microphones and lecterns are not allowed
    • The speech should be delivered with conviction and emphasis, but the delivery should not distract from the content.