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College Read 2017-18: Spare Parts

Spring 2018

Contest Rules

Topics of Speech Performance

The topics of BC Talks Speech Showcase are based on the 2017-2018 College Read’s book, Spare Parts by Joshua Davis. Spare Parts is a story of four Mexican high school students, in a competitive underwater robotics team led by two science teachers, who found confidence in the face of failure, academic achievement in a world of low expectations, and both acceptance and triumph amid widespread poverty, fear, immigrant-bashing, and violence.

Speech performance must focus at least one of the major topics in the book. Major topics in the book are the following:

  • perseverance                                 assimilation               prejudice
  • legal/illegal immigration                 robotics                      inequality
  • teamwork                                       STEM                         risk-taking
  • innovation                                      poverty                       mentorship

Speech must have at least 2 oral citations from the book, Spare Parts. One of the oral citations must reference the book.

Type of Speech

The following speech performance is welcomed:

  • Informative Speech: Describe or explain a major topic
  • Persuasive Speech: Change or reinforce the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors of audience about a major topic

Organizational Pattern of Speech

The speech may follow any organizational pattern:

  • Topical
  • Chronological
  • Spatial
  • Problem & Solution
  • Cause & Effect
  • Refutation
  • Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Time Length: The speech should be 5 to 6 minutes.

Mode of Delivery: The speech should be delivered extemporaneously. Speakers may use note cards.

Speaker’s Attire: Speaker should dress in business casual attire.

Competition Procedures

Before the Contest

  • Speech Competition Committee members, contestants, volunteers, and judges should arrive at least 45 minutes before the event.
  • Contestants are briefed on the rules by the Contest Chair. Contestants will then draw for their speaking position with the Contest Chair.
  • Voting judges, counting judge, and timer keeper are briefed on their duties by a member of the Speech Competition Committee.

Timing of the Speeches

  • Timekeeper will record each speaker’s time.
  • A timekeeper will notify the contestant of the amount of time remaining from the total allotted time.
  • The timekeeper should sit in front of the judges and where they can be seen by contestants.
  • The timekeeper using a time card will signal to the contestant, when they have one minute remaining and the end of their speaking time.
  • Timekeeper will not begin timing the speech until the speaker begins speaking.
  • Timekeeper will provide the counting judge each contestant’s score.
  • There will be 2 minutes of silence after each contestant to allow voting judges to complete their ballots.

Speech Time Limits & Grace Period

  • The minimum time for the speech shall be five (5) minutes with a ten second grace period. The speech could be as short as four minutes, fifty seconds (4:50). If the measured time is shorter, a penalty of five points would be applied to the contestant’s score.
  • The maximum time for the speech shall be six (6) minutes with a ten second grace period (6:10). If the speech is longer, penalty points would be applied to the contestant’s score. A penalty of five points would be applied if the measured time is between six minutes, eleven seconds (6:11) and six minutes, thirty seconds (6:30).
  • For measured time longer than six minutes, thirty seconds (6:30), a penalty of ten points would be applied.


  • There will be three voting judges.
    • The voting judges will use rubric on the Judge’s Ballot Form provided by Speech Competition Committee.
    • Each contestant can earn up to 50 points per judge for the highest points of 150 based on 10 criteria (1 to 5 points each).
    • All judges shall evaluate all contestants competing in the contest.
    • In case of a tie, the judges will discuss to vote on the contestant.
  • There will be a counting judge to calculate the scores of the voting judges.
    • The counting judge will use the Judge’s Ranking Form.
    • At the close of the contest, the judges shall rank all speakers by numbers based on their total scores: 1, 2, 3, etc.


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 Contest Chair prior to the announcement of the winners.
  • Before a contestant can be disqualified on the basis of originality, the contestant must be given an opportunity to respond to the voting judges. A majority of the voting judges must concur in the decision to disqualify.
  • The Contest Chair can disqualify a contestant on the basis of eligibility.
  • All decisions of the voting judges are final.

Use of Presentation Aids

  • Contestants who plan to use presentation aids, must indicate on contest entry form or notify the Contest Chair 72 hours prior to the contest.
  • If using a computerized visual aid, must use Microsoft PowerPoint. The committee will provide a clicker.
  • Contestants must abide by any venue restrictions on the use of presentation aids.
  • All presentation aids must be set up prior to the start of the competition. Contestants must arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes (1:45pm) prior the event. If contestant arrives late, the contestant forfeits opportunity to utilize the computerized visual aid.
  • Contestants may enlist someone to help them with presentation aids, but it is not the respon­sibility of the Contest Chair or any other contest officials to do so.