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Welcome to the DAV Website
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
(Yr 9-12 Debating)

Public Speaking 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.